Where and How Can You Smoke Pot Legally Now?

Voters in two states made history Tuesday by legalizing weed, here's what it means for tokers.

Coloradans and Washingtonians voted themselves unprecedented personal freedom on Tuesday.
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Washington

Laura Healy, who helps run the Green Hope Patient Network, displays marijuana provided by the group Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010, in Shoreline, Wash.

Washington state's new law is similar to Colorado's, only with more taxes. The state is already a leader in vice taxes—its liquor and tobacco taxes are the nation's highest and fifth-highest, respectively—and this trend will now apply to pot. Initiative 502, which also passed with 55 percent of the vote, would tax weed three times: when a grower sells product to a processor, when a processor sells to a retailer, and when a retailer sells to a customer. The result will be higher costs, higher revenue, and slightly fewer tokers than Colorado. The specifics:

How much? Adults will be able to purchase up to an ounce of cannabis from specially-regulated retail stores. These stores won't open until 2014, but until then, adults can possess and toke legally.

Where? Adults will be able to chronically use anywhere but in public spaces, similar to Colorado's stipulations. Violation of this results in fine, but no arrest. Unlike Colorado, only state-licensed farmers will be permitted to grow pot plants.

What about driving? As in Colorado, driving while high will be illegal, resulting in a DUI. The 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood limit applies, determined via blood or breath test by a medical professional.

Who will regulate it? The growth and sale of marijuana will be regulated by the state's liquor control board, its department of health and its department of agriculture.

Will it be taxed? The initiative levies a 25 percent tax on producers, processors, and retailers, plus the standard sales tax at purchase.

How much will weed cost? An estimated $467 per ounce retail, more than twice that of Colorado.

Where will the revenue go? According to the Center for New Revenue, The law would raise $564 million in taxes in 2015 alone, $214 of which would go to the State Health Plan, $198 million to the general treasury, and $43 million to marijuana education and public health programs.

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  • Seth Cline is a reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at scline@usnews.com.