Voters in Colorado, Washington, Massachusetts, Montana and Washington change Marijuana laws

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THUNDER BAY – Crime- Neill Franklin, Executive Director, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition states, “Most of my experience with the war on drugs has been characterized by loss. Today the story of my experience has turned to one of hope. The pace of reform is increasing. It took us a long time to get here, but we have finally begun to win the war on drugs by realizing it is time for that war to end”. Franklin’s comments come as voters in Colorado, Detroit, Massachusetts, Montana and Washington voted to change the laws on marijuana.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) is a group of cops, judges, prosecutors and everyday citizens teaming up to end the failed, dangerous and expensive war on drugs.

Colorado voted to legalize marijuana. Tony Ryan, a 36 year veteran of the Denver police department, stated, “Tonight, Colorado voters made history by passing the first marijuana legalization law in the country. As a law enforcement professional who arrested more people for marijuana than I’d like to admit, I’ve been waiting years for this day. Tonight I’m proud to say that my home state is the first to strike a blow against decades of marijuana prohibition. Now we must seize the momentum kick-started by voters tonight and make sure that more lawmakers take action in state legislatures and on the congressional level.”

The amendment in Colorado read:

Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning marijuana, and, in connection therewith, providing for the regulation of marijuana; permitting a person twenty-one years of age or older to consume or possess limited amounts of marijuana; providing for the licensing of cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, testing facilities, and retail stores; permitting local governments to regulate or prohibit such facilities; requiring the general assembly to enact an excise tax to be levied upon wholesale sales of marijuana; requiring that the first $40 million in revenue raised annually by such tax be credited to the public school capital construction assistance fund; and requiring the general assembly to enact legislation governing the cultivation, processing, and sale of industrial hemp?

Former Seattle police Chief Norm Stamper said, “With these two victories tonight in Colorado and Washington, the movement for drug policy reform has never been stronger. These votes will embolden leaders of countries in Latin America and elsewhere who have wanted to change their drug policies but haven’t because of pressure from the U.S. government. As more and more states follow the example set here tonight, the federal government will have little choice but to accept the will of the people both here and abroad. Expect to see previously silent legalization supporters around the globe seizing the momentum created by tonight’s historic victories.”

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, in a statement “Voters have spoken and we have to respect their will. This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug so don’t break out the Cheetos or gold fish too quickly”.

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