Marijuana joins Trump as Tuesday night's big winner in the US

Massachusetts, Nevada, Maine and California have all said "yes" to its recreational use.

Along with Donald Trump, Tuesday’s big winner in the United States was the marijuana industry.

Courtesy of referenda attached to the Presidential ballot, recreational marijuana is now legal in Massachusetts, Nevada, Maine and California, the sixth largest economy in the world, where Proposition 64 was supported by 56% of voters.

They join Washington D.C., Colorado, Alaska, Oregon and Washington state in allowing anyone over the age of 18 to freely smoke pot.

Saying “yes” to medicinal marijuana were Florida, Arkansas, North Dakota and Maine. The only fly in the marijuana ointment was in Arizona where Proposition 205 to legalise across the board was defeated 52.2%-47.8%.

“I am celebrating with the folk and states that have legalised medicinal marijuana, which is a wonderful thing for particular people,” enthused Whoopi Goldberg on ABC. “There might have been states that had fun marijuana… that’s a whole other thing! It’s a very big deal because it makes it easier for a lot of families with children who have issues.”

“We are very excited that citizens of California voted to end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition,” reflects Nate Bradley, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association. “Proposition 64 will allow California to take its rightful place as the centre of cannabis innovation, research and development.”

FBI figures show that 643,000 people were arrested for marijuana offences in 2015, with over 12,000 people currently residing in federal prisons having been found guilty of either possession or supply.

“I’d separate out the issue of decriminalisation of marijuana from encouraging its use,” President Obama said last year. “There is no doubt that our criminal justice system generally is so heavily skewed toward cracking down on nonviolent drug offenders that it has not just had a terrible effect on many communities, particularly communities of colour, rendering a lot of folks unemployable because they got felony records, disproportionate prison sentences. It costs a huge amount of money to states. And a lot of states are starting to figure that out.”

In Washington state, where there’s 37% excise on marijuana, they’re expecting to raise over $250 million dollars this year in taxes, with a large chunk of the money earmarked for the public school system.

So mainstream and respectable has it become that that the NFL Players Association are considering marijuana as a pain-management mechanism.

In Colorado, a state with a similar population to Ireland, the marijuana industry is worth over $1 billion a year with $140 million likely to go in to the public coffers in 2016 as a result.

There’s been no evidence of negative effects, with addiction to hard drugs down in a couple of states and no increase in people driving under the influence of marijuana.

In light of the promises he made this week to Vera Twomey in relation to her six-year-old daughter, Ava Barry, who has a catastrophic form of epilepsy, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, should get himself on a plane to Denver pronto and see how it should be done.

 

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