Colorado and Washington are two of the leading states in terms of becoming a marijuana-friendly place and they advanced a step into legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. Proponents of legal marijuana are taking their efforts quite seriously and this can be seen in the total amount of money they have collected to support their campaign.
Following the qualification of the legal marijuana ballot in January 2012, Washington garnered around $2 million funds as support. Colorado, on the other hand, which qualified on the ballot in February 2012, earned nearly $1 million. Overall, the two states have raised a total of $3 million for the legal marijuana law. Oregon has also shown support for legal marijuana, earning a ballot in July 2012, but the most recent campaign figures show less than $1000 funding.
All the three states’ legal measures will go into ballot in November when US Citizens vote in the presidential elections and other national positions.
Supporters of legal marijuana are already “locked and loaded” for the campaign – advertisements for the legalization of marijuana is already underway, hoping to convince the public about the advantages of using marijuana for recreational purposes. It’s basically a less harmful substance than alcohol and tobacco, but because it’s unapproved by the US Food and Drug Administration and prohibited by the federal law, marijuana is seen as an illicit drug, despite its advantages.
Marijuana has been used in the medical field for quite some time, and many states have already reaped the benefits of medical marijuana. But the recent efforts of Colorado and Washington to convince the government officials and the public that smoking marijuana can be less harmful is a different thing.
Ethan Nadelmann, Drug Policy Alliance’s executive director and a supporter of cannabis legalization, believes that when the ballot wins in November, legal marijuana will finally become a breakthrough process. But before everyone finally accepts recreational marijuana as part of their lives, the measure will surely face a lot of eye-rolling critics and conflicts, just as how the medical marijuana experienced before becoming a law.
Despite the ongoing issues, survey polls found a significant support over the recreational marijuana ballot – 55 percent of the 630 registered Washington voters and 61 percent of the 500 Colorado voters.
The biggest contributor to the legal marijuana campaign in Washington is Peter Lewis, the chairman of Progressive Insurance. Lewis also funded the medical marijuana campaign in Washington, and now, he has contributed a total of $875,000 for the recreational marijuana. The Drug Policy Action group, on the other hand, garnered $600,000 contributions for Washington’s legal marijuana campaign.
The President’s Administration is yet to comment on the issue, but they have already expressed their concerns that marijuana use is connected to addiction and other debilitating diseases.
Therefore, it’s important to have an adequate control and monitoring as to whom could have access to the drug. The legal marijuana measure knows the possible downsides of the substance, so they would only legalize marijuana for people 21 and above. Plus, there will be state-tax imposed on those who would sell, distribute and grow the plant, as well.