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Ballot measures: Oregon voters legalize marijuana

November 5, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — Oregon residents have voted to legalize marijuana, making the state the third to allow the drug’s recreational use. And voters in the District of Columbia approved a ballot measure legalizing possession of marijuana by adults.

Barring an attempt by Congress to block the move, the nation’s capital will join the company of Colorado and Washington state, where voters approved the recreational use of pot two years ago.

Another Western state, Alaska, had marijuana-legalization measures on its ballot Tuesday.

The District of Columbia’s marijuana measure does not provide for the legal sale of marijuana, leaving that matter up to the D.C. Council. That’s different from the measures in Oregon and Alaska, which would follow the example of Colorado and Washington state in setting up systems for regulating and taxing retail sales of marijuana.

The D.C. measure would make it legal to possess up to two ounces of pot and up to three mature marijuana plants for personal use. It won’t take effect until after a review by Congress.

The campaign in D.C. included a debate about race. The measure’s supporters said blacks in the city had been disproportionately targeted for marijuana arrests.

In Florida, a measure that would have allowed marijuana use for medical reasons fell short of the 60 percent approval to pass. Near-complete returns showed it getting about 57 percent of the votes.

Twenty-three states allow medical marijuana.

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