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    Colorado, Washington and other states legalize recreational marijuana

    Date: 11.28.12 | by Judge Tom.

    As a result of measures on the ballots in Colorado and Washington, voters approved the legalization of marijuana in November, 2012. Recreational use in both states is limited to those over age 21 and in quantities of less than one ounce. However, possessing and selling marijuana are still against the federal Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Whether the federal government decides to pursue criminal charges against growers and sellers or not, users who smoke or ingest the drug are still banned from skiing, snowboarding, or hurtling down a mountain while high. The Colorado Ski Safety Act, a law passed by Colorado in 2006, bans anyone from participating in mountain sports while intoxicated.

    Photo by SkinFitness (Flickr)

    Red tape will keep the laws from taking effect immediately. Rules and regulations regarding tax laws, licenses to grow and dispense, etc. will keep the law in limbo for a period of time. Furthermore, there’s a clash with the federal government, which still views marijuana as a Schedule I prohibited substance and has cracked down on states, like California and Montana, that have voted to allow medical marijuana. If you want to read the new laws, they are Amendment 64 in Colorado and Initiative 502 in Washington. Google these for the exact language and restrictions.

    Update:  In November, 2014, voters approved legalization of marijuana in  Oregon and Alaska. The District of Columbia followed suit in 2015.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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