Pretty soon, people will be able to buy recreational marijuana at outlets in Colorado and Washington State. But not all people. If you are under 21, you will have to wait until you’re older to buy marijuana. I know this rubbed some people the wrong way during the election, and there seems to be more people voicing their opposition to this rule as implementation of marijuana legalization continues in Colorado and Washington.
Is 21 a fair age restriction for purchasing recreational marijuana? Should it be 18? I think a strong argument to lower the legal age to 18 is that if you are old enough to vote for marijuana legalization, you should be able to use legal marijuana after an election day victory. You can buy cigarettes when you are 18, you can go to ‘adult only’ stores when you are 18, etc. So why make the legal age 21?
The biggest reason that the age of 21 was selected was because the slogan ‘marijuana is safer than alcohol’ resonates with so many voters, and ‘regulate marijuana like alcohol’ was the approach Colorado and Washington took. So if voters want to regulate marijuana like alcohol, then the legal age limit will be the same as it is for alcohol. Regulate marijuana like cigarettes doesn’t poll nearly as well, and regulate marijuana like caffeine will probably never get enough votes to actually win on election day.
I’m curious though, as we move towards another election that will likely see states following Colorado and Washington and legalizing marijuana, will any of those states have a legal age of 18? Or what about 19 or 20? I know some people feel like all prohibition’s should be removed, but I don’t think that approach will garner enough outside approach to be viable. So what do you feel should be the legal age limit for purchasing recreational marijuana?