Lost deep down on the ballots in this past election was the Libertarian candidate for president, former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson. Johnson was also a candidate for the GOP nomination this past year, though many will not recall his brief stint on the stage with Romney, Paul and Gingrich. Johnson’s most notable position during his snapshot in the GOP field was his support for the legalization of marijuana.

Possession, distribution and consumption of marijuana is illegal by federal law, but has been slowly adopted for medicinal purposes in 18 states plus the District of Columbia; for all other purposes, specifically “recreational” marijuana use, it has remained illegal; until now.

While millions were watching the election results to see whether Barack Obama would get another four years something equally horrifying was taking place in Colorado and Washington State; two of the earliest adopters of medicinal marijuana voted to allow use without prescription and for any purpose.

Both Washington and Colorado have allowed medicinal marijuana for more than a decade. In Colorado “pot huts” are more prevalent than Starbucks. Washington had the distinction of allowing folks with a prescription to possess a pound and a half of marijuana: enough to generate the sales of more than a thousand bags of Doritos and 2,500 Twinkies.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who opposed the legislation of recreational use of marijuana, now finds himself in a dilemma; his administration must now defend this law against the federal government.

Hickenlooper was a vocal opponent to legalization of marijuana throughout the 2012 campaign, not wanting his state to be known as a “marijuana” state; however Hickenlooper did a very poor job of reading the “pot” leaves. It’s become a local joke that it takes little more than a splinter to get a prescription for medicinal marijuana in Denver. From 2009 till 2011, the number of persons receiving medicinal marijuana skyrocketed from 5,051 to more than 127,816: nearly a 2,500 percent increase in just two years.

Washington State’s departing governor Christine Gregoire has been much more wishy-washy on her stance on the legalization of marijuana. Several times in the past few years Gregoire has referred to the taxing of marijuana as an “interesting” way to address the state’s budget crisis; yet she’s also voiced concern over the federal law issues and public safety.

Leagalized marijuana supporters

Gregoire’s successor, Jay Inslee, who was elected at the same time his fellow Washingtonians legalized marijuana, has been a clear dissenter on the issue of legalization of pot.  Numerous times during the campaign Inslee said he was “not comfortable with” and will vote against Initiative 502, the statewide ballot measure to legalize and tax marijuana.

While pot-heads across the states of Colorado and Washington might have been celebrating Tuesday night with a nice “fattie,” their celebrations may be a bit premature. Early comments from the Obama administration appear to indicate that the feds may take legal action and could well stop both states dead in their tracks.

Dude…what a buzz kill.


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