I am sorry asking you on daily basis. But I appreciate all of your support.

Now I am reading this article, and I came across this paragraph, saying,

While many other states have legalized marijuana through voter referendums that can leave details to be agreed upon after the fact, Illinois became the first state in the country to legalize through the legislative process.

Would in my assumption in this context the word "fact" mean be equal with such words "consequence" or "the result"?

Thank you for support again.

2 Answers 2


"After the fact" is a common phrase that according the MW means:

occurring, done, or made after something has happened

So in this case the "event" is the voter referendum (more specifically the ones that successfully legalized marijuana). The referendum (probably) did not include all the specific regulations and the procedure for actually allowing marijuana sales in the state. Therefore the legislators would have to figure that out after the referendum occurs.

  • Ugh great. I studied a lot today. Thanks from the bottom of my heart!
    – user17814
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 0:13

Here "after the fact" means after the passage of the referendum. By that the author means that while the various referenda specify that marijuana should become legal, they do not specify all the needed regulatory or implementing details, which the legislature or the courts must do afterwards. So the "fact" here is the passage of a referendum. In legal writing "after the fact" is a common phrase, meaning "after the event". For example, an "accessory after the fact" to a crime is a person who becomes an accessory only after the crime has been committed, for example by helping the criminal to escape or hide.

  • Understood completely. I became wiser today. With so many thanks.
    – user17814
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 0:15
  • I am afraid I have to choose Katahahito's answer since his one came first. Sorry(m_m).
    – user17814
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 0:16

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