In Washington, DC, the high was short-lived. Just five days after marijuana became legal in the nation’s capital, city lawmakers voted for strict limits on pot use which includes no smoking in public spaces, including inside private clubs, bars, hotels and restaurants.
Smoking weed will be restricted to private homes, ending some would-be potrepreneur’s dream of a marijuana “green rush” business of pot-themed clubs and events. Entrepreneurs can still open hemp stores and sell pot accessories, but will find that new regulations and laws still limit what types of marijuana-related business they can conduct.
The first state to legalize marijuana was Colorado, followed quickly by Washington. An ironic twist with pot being legal in Washington and Colorado is that individuals can now be charged with a Marijuana DUI in those states under new legislation that accompanied the legalization of recreational marijuana use. New rules establishing impairment limits for the now-legal recreational drug have caused different legal risks to users who drive in the state while under the influence. Arrests for drug-related driving offenses may actually rise, considering the blood-level limits for THC intake are now quite strict, and may not accurately detect the driver actually being impaired. THC remains in the bloodstream far longer than alcohol and very low levels suggest the driver is impaired which can cause a criminal record with light pot use. If you find yourself in need of legal representation, there are Colorado and Washington attorneys that take marijuana related cases, which may be a growth industry as more and more people begin using marijuana recreationally as a legal right. Washington D.C. has not yet updated their DUI laws to reflect the new status of the drug, but is expected to soon.
Another factor that plays into the legalization of weed is that you cannot sell it without criminal charges if you are not a licensed grower or distributor. Marijuana has produced significant revenue for Washington and Colorado since it is highly taxed, and a regulatory scheme has emerged that allows government officials to keep tabs on the revenues flowing from the newest cash-crop to contribute to State budgets.
In a recent news release, Colorado announced that the state recorded more than $42.7 million in recreational marijuana sales in the month of March. The overall sales in 2014 in Colorado were $699,198,805, above most conservative revenue expectations of the first year of legalization.
In February, 2014, Alaska became the third U.S. state to end prohibition of marijuana and put Ballot Measure 2 into full effect. In November of 2014, Oregon passed the marijuana initiative, Measure 91. Adults will be able to light it up beginning July 1st, 2015, although law enforcement has already begun the process of decriminalizing possession and usage leading up to the official date.
One thing that many people don’t think about is marijuana for pets. Yes, that’s correct. Bills are being introduced, one currently in Nevada, that will allow veterinarians to prescribe pot to animals with illness that may be alleviated. The cannabis plant has many compounds in it such as cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD. This is what has been used as a potential treatment for epileptic seizures and pain relief for cancer patients, and is the substance that can have similar pain-alleviating effects in animals.