Colorado voted to legalize smoking marijuana Tuesday, but the governor warned tokers not to “break out the Cheetos or Goldfish” just yet, since the federal government still takes a dim view of pot.
The Centennial State joined Washington in becoming the first states to legalize recreational use of marijuana Tuesday night, setting up a battle between the states and the federal government, which prohibits use of the drug. The historic votes were among a host of decisions on ballot initiatives that will shape state-level policy on everything from recreational drug use to same-sex marriage. But Gov. John Hickenlooper, who opposed the marijuana measure, said the federal government still considers marijuana taboo, so breaking out the bong could be premature.
“The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will,” Hickenlooper said. “This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly.”
The Colorado measure has sparked a national debate about marijuana policy, with supporters pushing for the federal government to end marijuana prohibition nationwide. The Colorado measure states adults over 21 can possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana, or six marijuana plants, for personal use. Opponents have said it will make the state a haven for drug tourists.
The measure in Washington State, Initiative 502, will legalize and regulate the production, possession and distribution of marijuana for residents age 21 and older.
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