Residents of Washington, D.C., overwhelmingly voted to legalize recreational marijuana for adults tonight. Late into the evening, Oregon and Alaska followed suit.
The District of Columbia’s measure to legalize pot was backed by nearly 70 percent of voters. The referendum makes it legal for those 21 and older to grow and possess marijuana in the U.S. capital, but not sell it.
Voters in Oregon and Alaska also said yes to cannabis last night, becoming the third and fourth states respectively to allow the possession—and sale—of pot for recreational use, rather than strictly medical use.
Both Oregon and Alaska will regulate the marijuana industry similar to alcohol, prohibiting those under 21 from buying, selling or using the substance.
In Oregon, where the initiative passed with 54 percent support, the law is planned to take effect July 2015.
In Alaska, where 52 percent voted in favor of legalization, officials now have nine months to draw up regulations before it becomes law.
Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia followed the lead of Colorado and Washington state, which legalized marijuana by ballot initiative in 2012.
Although voters in the nation’s capital made their opinions heard, members of Congress still hold the power to regulate, delay, and/or override the decision, likely pushing back implementation until next year.
In contrast to last night’s legalization wave, voters in Florida narrowly rejected a measure to legalize medical marijuana, failing to secure the 60 percent needed to approve the proposal.
Supporters call the Nov. 4 election results an important step in the national legalization movement, but not everyone agrees. Cully Stimson, senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, says legalization is a “terrible” public policy.
This story was updated to reflect the results of Alaska’s ballot initiative.