Washington legalizes marijuana

By Angelica Stephens,

Washington officially legalized the recreational use of marijuana on Tuesday, July 8, making it the second state to do so.

According to The Associated Press, Washington and Colorado both voted in favor of legalizing marijuana for citizens over 21 in 2012. Colorado began selling marijuana this year on Jan. 1. Along with legalizing marijuana, both states have special licenses that must be obtained in order to sell, tax and grow it.

One new shop, Bellingham’s Top Shelf Cannabis in Bellingham, Wash., opened its doors to customers at 8 a.m. Tuesday. Many camped out the night before to get it as soon as the doors opened and to make sure that they obtained it, since there is currently a supply shortage. There are 24 retailers so far that have been granted a marijuana seller license. Out of 2,600 people who have filed to become licensed growers, only 100 have been approved. This contributes to the shortage, along with the fact that only 12 growers had a harvest prepared.

Colorado has already benefited tremendously from the legalization of marijuana and has reeled in $24 million from sales and taxes. Washington is also expected to be very successful and state officials anticipate that marijuana sales and taxes will amount to approximately $190 million over the course of the next four years, according to USA Today.

Marijuana will cost $25 or more per gram. Buyers may purchase up to 16 ounces of solid substances, 72 ounces of liquids, 7 grams concentrated or one ounce of dried marijuana at a time, The Associated Press reported.



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