Washington Approves And Oregon Rejects Marijuana Legalization Measures

Nov 8, 2012

Northwest voters are of two minds when it comes to legalizing marijuana. Oregon voters rejected an attempt to allow people to smoke and grow pot. But Washington voters approved a more limited legalization initiative.

Supporters of Oregon's Measure 80 gathered on election night at the World Famous Cannabis Café in Portland.
Credit Photo Credit: Chris Lehman

The Washington vote means that starting in December, it will be legal for adults to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. The drug will be sold through state-licensed stores.

Pot remains illegal under federal law, but the measure's supporters say they hope the initiative will spark a national conversation about drug policy.

"This is an attempt by the electorate to say you know what, we don't need to tolerate a continuing failed policy," says Pete Holmes, Seattle's city attorney.

Oregon voters turned down a far more permissive pot legalization measure. The chief petitioner, Paul Stanford, says he'll lobby the Oregon legislature to take up the cause. If that doesn't work, Stanford says he'll bring it back to voters in 2014.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio