Next week Washington could be one of three states legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
Currently the use of medical marijuana is permitted in about one-third of the country, but advocates are hoping to get it a step further. If voters in Washington, Oregon or Colorado change state laws to permit possession and regulate the sale of marijuana, then backers say it could put pressure on the federal government to modify the national prohibition on the substance. The prohibition has been in place since 1937.
Initiative 502, in Washington, would regulate the sale of small amounts of marijuana to people 21 and older. It would be illegal for motorists to have more than 5 nanograms of THC (an active ingredient of marijuana) per milliliter of blood in their system, according to BallotPedia.
Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson has stated, “We should regulate and tax )marijuana) like alcohol and tobacco instead of propping up black market profiteers. We have better uses for our police, courts, and jails.”
Republican candidate for governor Robert McKenna opposes the measure and has said, "Once we open the door to all kinds of marijuana, with use by all kinds of people, medical marijuana users will be swept up."
Other opponents argue that THC levels vary, depending on the person, and the law would put medical marijuana users at greater risk of arrest.
How did you vote, or how do you plan to vote, on Initiative 502?