Washington becomes first state to legalize marijuana possession

December 7th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

Smoking marijuana

A landmark decision was put into effect today in the state of Washington, as a state government, for the first time in US history, decriminalized the possession of marijuana, no longer making the possession of this drug a crime.

The bill will come into effect from midnight today, allowing anyone over the age of 21 to legally possess up to 1 ounce (28.4 grams) of cannabis. However, the ruling does not extend to the smoking of the substance in public, which remains a criminal offense.

Washington is the only state to have decriminalized possession of marijuana, where it has enjoyed legal status for medical use since 1998. Possession and smoking marijuana is still a criminal offense in the rest of the United States. Colorado too voted on Nov. 6 in favor of decriminalizing marijuana, but it has yet to implement the legislation.

Of course, while smoking the drug in public as well as selling it remains illegal, Washington is headed into uncharted territory and federal authorities have raised concerns as to marijuana’s new “legal” status. Echoing this, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said at a news conference, “We’re in uncharted water here. We’ve struggled with prohibition for a century. It’s going to take some time to substitute a state licensed and regulated system.”

The drug was, and in the rest of the US

Article source: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/13555208-washington-becomes-first-state-to-legalize-marijuana-possession