Washington state legalizes same-sex marriage, pot
Revellers gather in Seattle to light up and celebrate at midnight.
New laws legalizing same-sex "marriages" and marijuana consumption took effect in Washington state at midnight on Wednesday, sparking statewide celebrations. Same sex couples lined the streets hoping to obtain state permission to marry and marijuana advocates gathered outdoors to light up in public.
Celebrating smokers offered marijuana to reporters and bystanders as they no longer feared arrest following a new law which legalized possession of up to an ounce of the drug and possession by anyone over age 21. The drug can only be consumed in private, but police did not bother ticketing anyone for the public displays last night.
Meanwhile, another law came into effect that allows the state to issue licenses to same-sex individuals who want the state to recognize marriages to their same-sex partners. Legally, such marriages will be recognized as being the same as heterosexual marriages in the state.
The state has a three-day waiting period, so the first ceremonies cannot occur until Sunday.
Both changes are part of a trend that threatens to sweep the nation as states look to save on law enforcement costs and bow to intense pressure from lobbying groups bent on redefining the concept of marriage.
Marijuana prohibition is costly and results in thousands of arrests each year in Washington alone. The state expects to save, and even generate millions in revenues from the change. The question now remains to be answered if legalization will solve more problems that it creates. The long-term health effects are expected to be expensive, however it is unclear if consumption of the drug will increase as a result of its legalization.
As for the same-sex marriages as the state is now referring to them, the move deceptively adds an air of legitimacy to the continual degradation of traditional values in American society.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
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Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
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