Bill Maher compares marijuana legalization to marriage equality:
Meanwhile, Colorado is making progress on regulations for legal marijuana:
The regulations in House Bill 1317 would require marijuana retail outlets to license with the state and for the first nine months, only currently operating medical marijuana dispensaries can apply. Owners must also be Colorado residents. Initially, these stores must sell marijuana that they cultivated themselves, but by October 2014 this restriction will be lifted to allow independent growers and retail outlets. State residents will be able to purchase up to one ounce of usable marijuana at a time, while out of state visitors will be capped at one quarter ounce per purchase. Possession of up to one ounce of marijuana would be legalized for everyone over the age of 21, regardless of residency.
Washington state is also figuring out regulatory details:
Licenses will be handed out in three main categories—producer, processor and retailer—for a fee of $1,000. High, say some. Retail outlets will be limited and marijuana may only be grown in secure, indoor facilities. Background checks for the licenses, including fingerprinting, will aim to weed out unsavoury types. Residency and record-keeping requirements are designed to keep the pot business in-state.
Some of the draft rules seem draconian, but it is important that Washington get this right. Congress is closely watching state experiments with pot legalisation, the success of which would blunt criticism from moralistic lawmakers.
One early consequence of legalized marijuana in Washington? The drugs dogs need to be retrained.