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States Vote To Legalize Marijuana

By Whitney Moran & Dean Joannou, Staff Writers

Montana, New Jersey, Arizona and South Dakota all voted to legalize the use and possession of recreational marjiauna on Nov. 3. Montana also legalized both medicinal and recreational marijuana in one sweeping legislative move. All of these states have different requirements and legislation at the state level on how marijuana purchasing and possession will be treated, but they now add themselves to the list of 11 states that already have legalized marijuana.

New York has not legalized marijuana at the state level, and many were surprised to see New Jersey be the first of the tri-state area to legalize recreational use of cannabis.

“I think that the legalization of marijuana is definitely a good stimulant to the economy that has no negative consequences,” sophomore psychology major Jessica Day said. “The drug is not addictive and is less detrimental to your health than many of the substances currently legal in the country.”

The debate about cannabis legalization does not only revolve around the drug and its personal effects, but is also involved with the economy.

In addition to legalizing marijuana, Oregon voted to decriminalize possession of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. The new punishment for possession is nearly the equivalent of a traffic ticket, rather than time in jail or prison. This initiative is looking to help provide more access to addiction assistance and rehabilitation services. 

Day also sees Oregon’s new law as progressive.

“Oregon’s drug decriminalization law that just passed is definitely shocking at face value however once you learn about it, it definitely poses some very constructive solutions to drug addiction,” she said. “Addicts will no longer go to prison for their addiction and instead will be put into rehabilitation centers where they can heal.” 

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