WA and CO legalize recreational weed, MA okays medicinal use, but "don’t break out Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly"

Voters in Washington and Colorado chose to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, in addition to medicinal use, making them the first U.S. states to decriminalize the practice. Massachussetts voters said yes to medicinal marijuana, making it the 18th state (together with Washington, D.C.) to legalize medical use of pot.

What all of this means in practice will be interesting to watch. If the federal crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries in California are any indication, it's not as simple as "state's rights." Marijuana is still a schedule 1 narcotic, the most restrictive class of illegal drug, with no recognized medical use by federal guidelines. Things may get ugly.

From the SFGate's coverage:

Washington will allow those at least 21 years old to buy as much as one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana from a licensed retailer. Colorado’s measure allows possession of an ounce, and permits growing as many as six plants in private, secure areas. Oregon voters rejected a similar measure. “The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will,” Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper 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.”

Support for marijuana’s recreational use built on measures that allow it for medical purposes in one-third of U.S. states. Previous attempts to legalize pot through ballot measures failed in California, Alaska, Oregon, Colorado and Nevada since 1972, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures.

Who knows, maybe one day we'll catch up with Israel, where some elderly Holocaust survivors toke up to deal with concentration camp PTSD.

An AP roundup by David Crary is here. Let the showdown begin. Right after we take a celebratory puff.