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Two States May Jump First

So California did not legalize marijuana in 2010, but two states this year may: Washington and Colorado.  Both states have ballot initiatives that would allow for the sale, possession and use of marijuana for non-medical purposes. Intrade.com, one of the "prediction" or betting markets on such things, give each about a 70% change of winning.  With only one week before the election, that means each initiative is enjoying more favorable odds than California's prop 19 did at the same time before the election two years ago.

Washington's Initiative 502 is an extremely wordy (64 pages) initiative that would license producers and retailers of marijuana with control of such licenses placed within the state liquor control board.  There would be THC concentration testing of the product as well as health labeling.  Retailers could only sell marijuana related products, and could only sell up to one ounce of pot to a customer.  The initiative makes formal the implied consent that drivers agree to be tested for THC concentrations without warrant and it sets a per se THC level of 5.00 for those over 21 and 0.00 for those under 21.

Colorado's Amendment 64 or the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act would also allow for licensed production and sale of marijuana to those over 21.  It does not appear that the initiative sets a per se THC limit on driving.

A third state, Oregon, also has an initiative to legalize marijuana, but it does not appear to be as well received by those being polled. The effect of either of these laws is debatable.  While there is nothing more illegal-- from the Federal perspective-- about these laws and their medical-use law cousins, the general feeling is that the Federal response to these laws will not be kind.  Given the current crack down on medical dispensaries, it's hard to imagine that retail sale, or large-scale licensed production is coming to those states any time soon.