Marijuana use legalized in Oregon and District of Columbia

Oregon and District of Columbia voters agreed to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, marking the latest victories in a national campaign to end prohibition of the drug.

The Oregon measure was approved by 54 percent, with 67 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press said.

"It is clear that marijuana prohibition has been a massive failure, and Americans are increasingly appearing ready to move on," Mason Tvert, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement.

In the nation's capital, voters agreed to allow residents to grow their own pot, though selling it would still be illegal. The issue passed with 69 percent of the vote, AP said.

A measure that would have allowed medical marijuana use in Florida garnered 58 percent of the vote, falling short of the 60 percent needed for passage, with 98 percent of precincts reporting, according to the AP.

Oregon became the third state to approve a system for selling, taxing and possessing marijuana for recreational use, after voters in Washington and Colorado led the way in 2012. Colorado began selling marijuana for recreational use in January, and Washington followed in July.

While marijuana remains illegal under federal law, the U.S. Justice Department said last year that it wouldn't challenge state legalization, provided authorities prevent out-of-state distribution, access for minors and drugged driving, among other things.

Congress has the power to review and veto laws in the District of Columbia, but if it fails to act, the city's referendum would take effect.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alison Vekshin in San Francisco at To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at Pete Young

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