Cannabis Legal, Localities Begin to Just Say No
YAKIMA, Wash. — The momentum toward legalized marijuana might seem like an inevitable tide, with states from Florida to New York considering easing laws for medical use, and a full-blown recreational industry rapidly emerging in Colorado and here in Washington State. But across the country, resistance to legal marijuana is also rising, with an increasing number of towns and counties moving to ban legal sales. The efforts, still largely local, have been fueled by the opening, or imminent opening, of retail marijuana stores here and in Colorado, as well as by recent legal opinions that have supported such bans in some states.
Though it seems strongest in more rural and conservative communities, the resistance has been surprisingly bipartisan. In states from Louisiana to Indiana that are discussing decriminalizing marijuana, Republican opponents of relaxing the drug laws are finding themselves loosely allied with Democratic skeptics. Voices in the Obama administration concerned about growing access have joined antidrug crusaders like Patrick J. Kennedy, a Democratic former United States representative from Rhode Island, who contends that the potential health risks of marijuana have not been adequately explored, especially for juveniles — and who has written and spoken widely about his own struggles with alcohol and prescription drugs. Read this entire nytimes.com article.[message type=”custom” width=”100%” color=”#CCCCCC” border=”#C9C9C9″ color=”#333333″] A deeper engine driving opposition to legal marijuana is anxiety about the ways that the rapid expansion of marijuana shops and increasingly easy access to the drug might change communities. None of the new local bans affect possession of marijuana for personal use, which is legal statewide in Washington.
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Photo Credit: The New York Times