Florida voters narrowly rejected a plan to legalize medical marijuana, while voters in Washington, D.C., and Oregon both approved recreational pot use by adults, and early returns gave a slight edge to Alaska’s plans to tax and regulate recreational marijuana, USA Today reports. Backers say the legalization wins indicate voters think pot prohibition is a failure, especially because non-presidential elections tend to draw an older, more conservative electorate. Twenty-three states and D.C. already allow medical marijuana. Yesterday vote means Washington, D.C., and Oregon join Colorado and Washington in allowing adults to posses and consume marijuana just for fun.
Florida’s medical marijuana initiative got more than 50 percent of the vote, but failed to reach the 60 percent needed to pass. “Wins in Alaska and Oregon will provide a boost to efforts in other states because they will demonstrate the benefits of regulating and taxing marijuana,” said Mason Tvert of the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project. Critic Kevin Sabet of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida contended that, “What we’ve seen is that the more people hear details about legalization, whether it is details of specific laws or details of experiences in Colorado or Washington, they are turned off from legalization.”