Marijuana Decriminalized In Washington State



It's an historic day for marijuana users in Washington -- as the recreational use of marijuana is decriminalized for adults over 21.

We met with Tricia Smith, a long-time user of marijuana.

Today, the substance was officially decriminalized in the state of Washington, and Smith says she is ecstatic.

"It's a step forward to getting away from prohibition of a vastly huge industrial plant," said Smith.

People all over the state are celebrating the legalization of marijuana for those 21 and over -- including a large crowd which gathered in Seattle at midnight for a collective smoke.

Damian Silva decided to celebrate last night in Yakima in the privacy of his own home.

"I just relaxed, listened to music, relaxing," said Silva, "And when I finished my blunt, I went to sleep.

The enactment of Initiative 502 says a person of age can possess up an ounce of marijuana, and is permitted to smoke it as long as it is in the privacy of their own homes.

The Initiative also allows state licensed businesses to maufacture and sell it with a high tax rate.

Police say it could take up to a year before growers, processors, and retail stores have some sort of system set up.

In the meantime, they believe people will continue to buy their drugs off the street.

"We will come across it, it's more likely than not," said Captain Rod Light, "This is just again, another one of the huge issues that has not been matted out yet to have any real good answers as to where this new law is going to take us."

Tricia Smith says today marks a victory for marijuana users like her, and is the first step to eliminating all restrictions on the substance.

"502 and 64 in Colorado are eventually going to lead to the death of prohibition," said Smith.

The fine for smoking marijuana in public is $50 -- if you are caught smoking pot on federal property, including national parks, you will be arrested.