Colorado measure legalizing marijuana passes
November 7, 2012
An amendment that would make it legal in Colorado for individuals to possess and for businesses to sell marijuana for recreational use has passed.
The Denver Post made the call at approximately 9:15 p.m.
Amendment 64 led with 52.7 percent voting yes and 47.3 percent voting no, with 1,507,746 votes or more than 50 percent of active voters counted, according to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. The office said 25 counties had reported.
The early results prompted cheers throughout Casselman’s, a downtown bar where hundreds of supporters were gathering.
Mason Tvert, co-director of Yes on 64, said the crowd was cautiously optimistic.
“We’re not going to jump to any conclusions just yet,” he said. “But we believe Colorado voters have decided to take a more sensible approach to how we deal with marijuana in the state.”
If the amendment passes, Colorado could become the first state to legalize recreational use of the drug, possibly clearing the way for creation of a marijuana industry. There are similar measures before voters in Washington and Oregon.
The ballot measure to amend the state constitution has fostered a national discussion about marijuana policy. Supporters hope approval would place pressure on the federal government to end marijuana prohibition everywhere. But critics say it could make Colorado a destination for drug tourists and prompt a federal crackdown.
“It’s unprecedented,” said Jonathan Caulkins, a Carnegie Mellon University professor whose research focuses on marijuana legalization. Implications would be “huge and impossible to pinpoint,” he said, and would put Colorado to the left of the Netherlands when it comes to marijuana policy.
The amendment would allow those 21 and older to purchase up to one ounce of the drug at specially regulated retail stores. Possession would be legal, but not public use. Adults could grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes.
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