Some 176 ballot measures in 38 states included historic wins for gay marriage and legalized marijuana (Amendment 64 in Colorado), as well as votes in four red states to rein in 'Obamacare.'
Tuesday had a list of controversial and in some ways profound ballot measures around the country.
Among them: Same-sex marriage, legalizing recreational marijuana, physician-assisted suicide, the death penalty, abortion, and genetically modified food.
According to vote projections, measures allowing adults to use marijuana (Amendment 64) were approved in Colorado and Washington State but defeated in Oregon. In Massachusetts, voters overwhelmingly approved legalization of marijuana for medical purposes, joining 17 other states that already have done so.
State-level approval of marijuana for any purpose – medically or recreationally – is sure to set up a legal dispute with federal authorities, since federal law recognizes no legal use for the drug. Federal agents have cracked down on medical marijuana growers and sellers in California and other states.
“The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will,” Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) said in a statement. “This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly.”