Recreational marijuana use and same sex marriage are officially legal in Washington after the two measures passed by voters last month took effect at midnight.
A group of about 30 people gathered outside Seattle’s Hempfest (annual marijuana festival) headquarters to celebrate by smoking joints and offering them to the reporters nearby, notes Fox News. Hempfest volunteer Darby Hageman commented, “I feel like a kid in a candy store! It’s all becoming real now!”
Washington and Colorado are the first states to decriminalize marijuana and regulate the possession to allow people 21 and over to carry an ounce or less of cannabis. Both measures will require the set up of state licensing schemes for pot growers, processors, and retailers.
Washington’s law took effect at midnight, while Colorado’s law will take effect by January 5. Along with allowing recreational marijuana, Washington also passed a measure to allow same sex measure, which Governor Chris Gregoire signed into law on Wednesday, notes NBC News.
That law also took effect at midnight, and the King County Recorder’s Office opened at 12:01 am to allow same sex couples to obtain their marriage licenses. There was concern last week that the marriage licenses for same sex couples would still say “bride” and “groom,” but officials were able to print off 1,000 marriage licenses that said “bride,” “groom,” and “spouse” just in case.
There were more than 72 couples waiting in line to obtain the licenses, though per Washington state law they will not be able to get married officially for three more days. UCLA’s Williams Institute has said that same sex marriage in Washington could produce $57 million for the state’s economy in the first year — resulting in about $5 million in tax revenue.
Are you excited to see marijuana and same sex marriage officially legalized in Washington?