Yesterday, marijuana prohibitionists went 1-3 in ballot measures to re-legalize cannabis for recreational purposes. I use the term "re-legalize," instead of "legalize," because marijuana was legal throughout most of American history, with marijuana prohibition not sweeping the country until the 1920s and 1930s. Alaska, Oregon and Washington DC voters approved recreational marijuana, while a similar measure failed in Florida. Despite 57% of Florida votes in favor of re-legalization, at least 60% of votes were needed, as the measure was presented as an amendment to the state constitution.
With the start of 2014, Colorado became the first state since the 1930s to allow the sale of marijuana in retail establishments for recreational use. As a Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney who handles a lot of marijuana cases, I am frequently asked when Pennsylvania will legalize cannabis for either medicinal or recreational purposes. Well, my stock answer is both simple and vague: some time in our lifetimes, but no time soon.