What a Day for America and Marijuana
Tuesday night brought in the biggest electoral victory for marijuana reform since 2012. People in California, Nevada, and Massachusetts accepted recreational marijuana initiatives. In Florida, Arkansas, and North Dakota voters have approved medical marijuana initiatives. In Arizona, a similar legalization measure did not gain enough support to pass, having a 52 percent rejection rate.
Reformers were triumphant. “This represents a monumental victory for the marijuana reform movement,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, in a statement. “With California’s leadership now, the end of marijuana prohibition nationally, and even internationally, is fast approaching.”
California has been a leader by both supporters and opponents of marijuana reform. California makes up approximately 12 percent of the U.S. population. The economic impact of the state could encourage federal authorities to rethink their 10-year probation on the use of marijuana.
“The prospect of Rudy Giuliani or Chris Christie as attorney general does not bode well,” the Drug Policy Alliance’s Nadelmann said in an interview. “There are various ways in which a hostile White House could trip things up.”
Nadelmann pointed to the success of marijuana measures during an evident Republican wave as a sign that support for legalization now cuts deeply across party lines. And quoting Trump’s often contradictory statements on marijuana and drug use in the past, Nadelmann added that “Donald Trump personally could probably go any which way on this.”
Legal marijuana is also making its way into the Northeast. “Marijuana legalization has arrived on the East Coast,” said Tom Angell of the marijuana reform group Marijuana Majority in an email. “What Colorado and other states have already done is generating revenue, creating jobs and reducing crime, so it’s not surprising that voters in more places are eager to end prohibition.”
Opponents of lega
legalization said they were disappointed by the outcomes. “We were outspent greatly in both California and Massachusetts, so this loss is disappointing, but not wholly unexpected,” said Kevin Sabet of the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana in a statement. “Despite having gained considerable ground in the last few weeks, the out-of-state interests determined to make money off of legalization put in too much money to overcome.”
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