Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. residents voted to legalize marijuana at the ballot box on Tuesday.

Marijuana Legalization

Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. joined Washington State and Colorado as states that are loosening up their laws on the possession of marijuana.

“It's always an uphill battle to win a marijuana legalization initiative in a year like this, when young people are so much less likely to vote, which makes today's victory all the sweeter," Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, told CNN. "The pace of reform is accelerating, other states are sure to follow, and even Congress is poised to wake from its slumber."

While Oregon and Alaska were nice wins for marijuana activists, the win in the District of Colombia, the nation’s capitol, could be even more meaningful. The issue of marijuana legalization will be a hard one to ignore when it's so close to lawmakers.


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"With marijuana legal in the federal government's backyard," said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority. "It's going to be increasingly difficult for national politicians to continue ignoring the growing majority of voters who want to end prohibition."

In Oregon and Alaska, not only does the new law legalize personal possession, but also the manufacturing and sale of marijuana by those who are 21 and older. The state plans to put in place a commericial regulatory system for the production, distribution and sale of marijunana.

Washington, D.C.'s new law is conservative compared to the sweeping legalization in the other states. There, residents over 21 will be permitted to have up to two ounces of pot and grow up to six cannabis plants in thier home for personal use. It's also now legal to give one ounce of marijuana to another person, but not to sell it.

Medical marijuana was not legalized in Florida on Tuesday, with the vote falling short of the 60% needed to change the law.

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