Common sense has prevailed in two US states that yesterday voted to regulate cannabis.

Voters in Colorado and Washington state have sent a clear message to their elected officials that punishing people for a consensual transaction (buying and selling cannabis) violates the will of the majority.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board, Department of Agriculture and Department of Health have until December 1, 2013 to create a licensing system that involves the taxation, production and sale of cannabis. It will remain an offense to sell cannabis to people under the age of 21 and drive whilst intoxicated.

Like any agricultural commodity designed for human consumption, product regulations are likely to ensure cannabis is sold with appropriate health warnings and is grown in stable soil conditions, treated for mold spore and placed in airtight packaging with an expiration date.

The Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation welcomes the decision to tax and regulate cannabis.

According to a report prepared by Commonwealth Government in 1994:

Australian society experiences more harm, we conclude, from maintaining the prohibition policy than it experiences from the use of the drug

We call on all Australians to join others in agitating for law reform and to protect the health and safety of our communities by regulating cannabis.