Marijuana prohibition in the U.S. is dying, but it isn’t going to vanish in one fell swoop. Even if Congress were to repeal federal pot prohibition, state laws criminalizing the plant and its users would still be in effect — at least in some states.
And it’s probably a pretty safe bet that Congress isn’t going to act until a good number of states, maybe more than half, have already legalized it. That process is already underway and is likely to gather real momentum by the time election day 2016 is over.
Colorado and Washington led the way in 2012, followed by Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, DC, last year. California, where one out of every eight Americans lives, is very likely to go green in 2016 via the initiative process, and so are a handful of other states, including Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. Longer shots next year (or even this year, in Ohio’s case) are Arizona, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio.
But just as the end of federal alcohol prohibition in 1933 didn’t mean the end of state-level prohibition—Mississippi didn’t end it until 1966, you couldn’t drink in a bar in Kansas until 1987, and dry counties remain in a number of states — ending federal marijuana prohibition isn’t going to magically make it legal everywhere. [Read more at Salon.com]
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