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U.S. recreational pot referenda sign of things to come

Article Originally Published on November 9, 2012 by Advocate Daily. 

The stage is being set for a clash between the U.S. federal government of the state governments of Colorado and Washington.

Voters in both of these states have passed a voter initiative to allow for the use and small scale growing of recreational marijuana. This is an historic victory for those fighting to scale back the War on Drugs. As the initiative works its way into law, and we begin to see how it works in practice, all eyes will be on this bold new experiment.

Lawmakers and voters in Canada will be paying close attention to the social ramifications of legal recreational use.

It has long been thought by Canadian decriminalization proponents that the main impediment to liberalizing the marijuana laws was the reaction we could expect from our American cousins.

When the Chretien Liberals had legislation to decriminalize personal possession for small amounts of marijuana working its way through Parliament, many wondered what the Americans would do if pot became legal. That bill died when Parliament was dissolved and was never redrafted. Many observers figured that pressure from the south was the reason we never saw the initiative again.

Those concerns may be a thing of the past if the good people of Colorado and Washington can demonstrate to the watching world that normal humans can continue to live normal lives with legal marijuana thrown in the mix. Given that there is strong evidence that human use of marijuana goes back more than 5,000 years, it’s hard to imagine things are going to spin too far out of control.

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