January 19, 2014 |
SEATTLE - The new year is shaping up to be one of the marijuana movement's strongest ever. The first legal pot storefronts in America opened to long lines in Colorado 20 days ago. Washington state is poised to issue licenses for producing, processing and selling the Schedule I drug - once officials sift through about 7,000 applications. Signature gatherers have been at work in at least five states, including California, to put marijuana measures on the ballot in 2014. On Wednesday, organizers announced they had gathered more than 1 million signatures in favor of putting a medical marijuana measure before voters in Florida, a high-population bellwether that could become the first Southern state to embrace pot. "Florida looks like the country as a whole," said Ben Pollara, campaign manager for the Sunshine State's effort.