Colorado passed Amendment 64 Tuesday night, becoming the first state in the nation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults. The measure, which will allow adults 21 or older to use marijuana without a medical prescription, will also make it possible for the state to tax and regulate the drug and its distribution. The legal red tape remains complicated, however, as there is still a federal ban on marijuana. Washington state passed a similar measure Tuesday, allowing for small sales of marijuana, while Oregon residents rejected an amendment on the issue. The Chronicle spoke to Duke students from Colorado about their reaction to the news.
“I was excited. I think it’s a really good idea across the board. My mother, for instance, who isn’t in favor of pot whatsoever, is in favor of it. She’s very anti-weed, but she voted to legalize because of all that it will do to regulate right now. There are huge problems right now—you can’t regulate the potency, you don’t know where it came from.
“She is a teacher in the public schools, and when it was just legal as medical marijuana, you had this enormous issue with everybody using it but no regulation and no tax dollars coming in. It was a really really negative situation.”
—sophomore Ellie Schaack
“This is the first state to do it, which is really interesting. It will be interesting to see how expected it is and what sort of legislation comes with the driving under the influence laws.
“Why 69 when you can 64?”
—sophomore Victor Chen
“I was just talking to some friends about it. I became a North Carolina voter and stopped paying attention to the issues at home because we spend so much of our time here in North Carolina that I thought I’d vote for the issues that would be affecting me more.
“It’s going to be really interesting watching it. Even my support for it is relatively conditional based on how they implement it, because there will be so many challenges ahead of them—the federal government stepping in. It’s going to be a lot of fun but there are going to be a lot of challenges that the state is going to face.”
—sophomore Mike Myers