Washington Voters Legalize Marijuana

Washington joins Colorado on this historic evening in passing their marijuana legalization initiative, I-502, in a 55% to 45% vote (with 50% of the vote tallied). The Seattle Times has called it a victory for I-502.

The significance of these events cannot be overstated. Tonight, for the first time in history, two states have legalized and regulated the adult use and sale of cannabis. We now must focus on the important work of implementation and begin to encourage other states to adopt these rational reforms. NORML will have much, much more as we progress. For now, we would just like to thank all the dedicated activists and supporters who made this night possible. We SMOKED THE VOTE and will now enter a new chapter in the history of marijuana law reform.

Marijuana prohibition might have not died completely tonight, but it certainly has been put on life support.

63 thoughts

  1. Oh..my…God! Not one, but 2 states legalize marijuana on the same night! This is incredible let’s keep it up!

  2. Congratulations NORML, as well as other supporters of this type of freedom, for the success you have accomplished.

  3. Well done everyone -some hard work ahead but history has been made. You have given hope to millions around the world !

  4. Hopefully President Obama will move toward solving this state Vs Federal problem as well. A friend of mine who was a legal registered Marijuana Dispensary Owner her in California was stopped in Bakersfield, CA returning from a resupply trip, and busted by the California highway Patrol. When the County prosecutor in Bakersfield figured out my friend was not doing anothing against the law in the State of California, my friend was turned over to the DEA, and is awaiting trial on Federal Charges! That is about as close to “Double jeopardy” as you can get! Screw the Feds! Stay out of California’s Marijuana Industry! You can’t even stop the Cocaine and Heroin traffic you should be concentrating on!

  5. WA state, please protect the freedoms and rights of your residents as we implement these reforms! Free medicine is now legal… lets become a leader in studies and medicinal uses!! I will have a biology degree soon and i would love to help our state become a leader in science regarding cannabis

  6. Way to go Washington! So happy for you and the possibilities for us all that are on the horizon.

  7. Not sure why you have declared Colorado as the first state to legalize and Washington the second. They both were passed in the same election, and the percentage of Yes votes is even higher in WA than CO at this time. I would prefer you state that BOTH states approved it at the same time.

    There is still a long path until the weed is fully free of oppressive laws. But a mighty landslide can start with just a couple of stones. Tonight, stones are rolling down the sides of both the Rockies and the Cascades.


  8. Hooray for Washington. Washington and Colorado should have a joint ๐Ÿ™‚ meeting in Utah ๐Ÿ˜›

  9. No comments? Marijuana was just legalized for God’s sake! Congratulations everyone involved, this is a big moment.

  10. I think you mean to say that the significance cannot be OVERstated. I would fix this before distributing this error further, it is already being quoted.

  11. thank you WASHINGTON…now, watch your backs for the men in black,cover all the issues, and please , be RESPONSIBLE with the herb by setting a good example of its use so, more states will not fear to follow….this is AWESOMMMME !!….

  12. Washington state voter here enjoying a bowl of Maui Wauie! Thank you Norml for your decades of activism in the name of freedom. Well, it’s 4:20 somewhere, later…!

  13. It sure as hell is about time!!!! Next up for Kentuckians is to Pass the Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana bill during the Assembly session that begins in January. Senator Perry Clark won reelection so his bill is still alive!!! Time to git to work!!!

  14. Do you have to have a resident of that state, or just be 21?

    [Paul Armentano responds: You must be age 21 or older.]

  15. KUDOs to all NORML activists, not just those who made 502’s passage happen, but those who have worked tirelessly since the early days. To all those who were not intimidated by speaking out! Now let’s work on getting MJ offenders released from jails and prison!! I am so proud to live in a state where I might just see my dream of going to a licensed purveyor to pick up this week’s connoisseurs’ choice!! All good! YAY WA!!

  16. you guys think you passed legalization then you fell for it just like they wanted you to.this was nothing more then a decrim bill labeled as legalization and it was not.you wont go to jail as long as you 1 buy it from the state and 2 have no more then one ounce anything more and its back to jail if you are cought with it so in what way is that leglaization and not just decrim….you guys should have read what you were voting on now we have a half retarded decrim bill that calls itself legalization and adds a bunch of new regulations and no real legalization. there is no criminal offense if i want to buy lots and lots of alchohol or tobacco yet there is a point a verry small point where pot becomes a crime again just for possessing anything over a ounce i dont know about you but that is not legalization and to pretend otherwise is a lie.

    [Paul Armentano responds: So, your point is that since the law doesn’t allow you to have unlimited amounts of cannabis than we should continue to arrest adults who possess even minor amounts of cannabis? Most voters disagree with you. Further, under I-502, there are no penalties on cannabis possession (up to one ounce) regardless of how one obtains it.]

  17. I have not seen much in the news about what the Washington state law means the day after. So an ounce is legal, now what? Washington state residents wait for a state Marijuana store (like the state liquor store) to open in their town? How does the infrastructure for buying change now exactly? Or is it too early to tell?

  18. BTW, congratulations to Colorado and Washington state. You have given precious hope to the rest of the country, and I’m thinking pretty much the rest of the world. This is gonna snowball over the next 4 years. I think each state holds an annual ballet. The next three years will be very telling and are crucial. State after state are going to want in on this when they see all the cash being crammed into those two states. By the time the next presidential election rolls around, you will see candidates all for this going nation-wide. Think this is big today? Give it three years and look at the map, as well as the next red and blue boys.

  19. This is awesome! We’ve come a long long way America let’s keep it up and Legalize it in Minnesota and also medically! YOU CAN’T SPELL HEALTHCARE W/O THC! and youc an’t spell “potential” w/o POT! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. A positive developement for sure. But I don’t think the WA law will be implimented. What I read is that it can only be grown and sold at licensed government outlets. The state’s not going to give licenses, because it’s a federal crime. Prohibition would have ended if they legalized growing for personal use, but I don’t think they did.

  21. can i legally grow a few plants in washington state?

    [Paul Armentano responds: I-502 does not allow for home cultivation. By contrast, qualified patients in Washington with a physician’s authorization can cultivate at home under present law.]

  22. Can tourists to Washington State and Colorado access cannabis ? Will they arrest tourists for coming to Colorado and Washington state to do a little shopping while there?
    2nd question please, is a hawaii medical recommendation good in california? Can one shop for meds in cali and fly home to the big island if one lives there?
    Gotta get out of byzantine Fla 1st! Thank you

    [Paul Armentano responds: I-502 allows for the personal possession of cannabis to those 21 and older. RE: California, it does not allow for reciprocity with other states.]

  23. Wonderful news, what a night, thanks to Eric for all the live updates, huge rush when it was finally official. Now we move forward to United States wide legalization!

  24. Wow, then I think my Wife and I will consider a trip to Colorado or Washington state. Maybe do a little holiday shopping or take a weekend vacation to check it out. If only it were warm. Think Fla will ever make progress?

  25. Serious question for NORML : Will concentrates, like bubble hash and BHO be allowed under I-502?

    [Editor’s note: Cannabis products were legalized, not just the botanicals.]

  26. @Paul Armentano: It’s misleading to represent California’s medical marijuana as only applying to California residents. Cite one California court case that discounts the right of any qualified patient, regardless of state, to possess marijuana under Proposition 215 (H&S 11362.5).

    Colorado “legalized” first because:
    1) It allows for home grow, unlike I-502.
    2) Doesn’t affect DUI laws, unlike I-502.
    3) It takes effect immediately, unlike I-502.

    Cheers to the future of cannabis law reform!

    [Editor’s note: Since 1996, CA is not a state that allows non-residents to legally qualify to use medical cannabis. Period. Of the now 18 states and DC with legal protections for patients, the states that currently allow for reciprocity are AZ, MI, RI, ME and OR (because of a court order).

    Also CO’s legalization laws do not take effect immediately.]

  27. Marihuana,ganja,weed, no matter what you call it is in medicine, medical herb that relax and keep the pain away in the country of portugal Canabis it is legal in the whole country
    legalize marijuana and stop the persecution of that uses
    if this is the home of the free show it to me, Mari Juana was put by the Lord as everything he put the eart, just legalize it, don’t criticize it

  28. @Editor: Your right, Colorado’s laws take effect immediately [upon upon official declaration of the vote hereon by proclamation of the governor], whereas Washington’s I-502 takes effect not less or more than 30 days after.

    Find me that court case. It’s a fallacy to believe H&S 11362.5 doesn’t apply to non-residents (and thus denies them equal protection under the law), especially when the text of the law is so clear.

    Show me a California appeals-level court case that proves me wrong.

    [Editor’s note: Why cite you a court case when all you simply need to do is read Prop. 215…where the law only addresses “seriously ill Californians”?]

  29. Hey Paul, does this mean patients can sell their grown cannabis to non patients? What about non patients subsidizing for patients medicine and in return sharing in the product?

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