Seattle a Washington state legalized marijuana on 6th of December 2012. It becomes the first state in America to allow recreational use of marijuana, a law seemingly poised for disputation with the US federal government. Celebration went wild at the foot of the space needle tower after midnight when news came out that this law had come into effect. Leading the celebration were the Seattle marijuana campaigners.The new law allows smoking of cannabis inside homes.
Smoking it in public would lead to a fine of $100. However, when the news of legalization of weed went on air, the Seattle police department communicated to its 1300 officers that no tickets were to be issued until further notices. The police officers did not even attend the space needle event. The city police spokesperson said that the police department was going to offer a generous grace period of helping the Seattle residents adjust to this new Seattle marijuana law. He termed the law legalizing smoking of marijuana as new, and brave. He added that people are living in a kind of stoned world.The first two states to legalize and regulate cannabis possession in ballots held alongside the Nov 6 US presidential elections were Colorado and Washington. Colorado law took effect on 5th of Jan. in Washington.
They legalized a law allowing adults with 21 years and above to posses up to 16 ounces of marijuana-infused goods like cookies and brownies or up to a liquid form of 72 ounces of cannabis.Seattle marijuana was licensed and regulated for selling in licensed shops. The cannabis business is subject to a tax of 25% at each stage of the process. The Seattle is anticipating getting hundreds of millions of dollars in the form of tax revenue that it plans to channel in areas like healthcare and schools. However, establishing this regulation as well as the tax system is expected to take another year.Nevertheless, since marijuana is still illegal under US law, through controlled substances Act, Washington faces a possible crackdown by federal agents including drug enforcement agency and the FBI.
Cannabis remains illegal in federal property including national parks and military bases.This move from Washington states comes amid an already escalating conflict between the states and the federal government over mushrooming industry of medical marijuana. Previously, the US attorney’s office has initiated crackdowns in states like California where there have been the proliferation of dispensaries selling marijuana for medical use. Though some of such dispensaries in California were operating legally, they have been shut down.A day after the legalization of marijuana in Seattle the US attorney’s office in Seattle issued a statement saying that essentially, nothing had changed. The statement said,The responsibility of the department to put into effect the Controlled Substances Act is unchanged.
Neither an executive branch or states can quash a congress passed statue. The department of US justice is yet to announce whether it will try to block the regulation and taxation of the marijuana industry in Colorado and Washington, which would lead to a legal showdown over states rights.