Last night, at exactly midnight, a huge crowd of Washington state residents celebrated the legalization of marijuana in the state by lighting up at the Space Needle in Seattle- joints, blunts, bowls, bongs and all.
“Washington’s new law decriminalizes possession of up to an ounce for those over 21, but for now selling marijuana remains illegal. I-502 gives the state a year to come up with a system of state-licensed growers, processors and retail stores, with the marijuana taxed 25 percent at each stage.
Analysts have estimated that a legal pot market could bring Washington hundreds of millions of dollars a year in new tax revenue for schools, health care and basic government functions.”
A vast majority of Washington, D.C. politicians, on the other hand, disagree. Marijuana is still deemed illegal under Federal law. Although there were no police present at last night’s festivities, the feds could have arrested whoever they wished- if they wished to do so.
Former heads of the DEA are urging states to abide by federal law:
“We urge you to oppose publicly Amendment 64 in Colorado, Initiative 502 in Washington, and Measure 80 in Oregon. To continue to remain silent conveys to the American public and the global community a tacit acceptance of these dangerous initiatives.”
The co-director of the Colorado Campaign to Regulate Marijuana has this to say in response:
“It is not surprising that these men, who have made a living off of marijuana prohibition, want their successors to continue profiting from the existence of the underground marijuana market. They just want to keep billions of taxpayer dollars flowing to their buddies. They know that marijuana prohibition isn’t really improving public safety; just as our nation’s streets weren’t safer when Al Capone and his cohorts controlled the alcohol trade.”
Technically, smoking pot in public is still illegal. But police were asked to let the midnight party go without issuing any summons. Maybe they even joined in the festivities undercover?
Paul Hudson | Elite.