Shadowed by the constant bombardment of presidential news, little mainstream media coverage has been given to Cannabis laws this election. Despite that fact, we cannot deny that this election is pivotal for Cannabis reform throughout the country.
This Tuesday, 9 States will vote on Cannabis ballot measures. 5 states for recreational use (California, Nevada, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine), and 4 states for medical use (Florida, Montana, North Dakota and Arkansas) This would bring the recreational state count to 9 and the medical state count to 28 . If all measures pass, 25% Americans will wake up on November 9th with the ability to obtain legal cannabis in some form. If all measures pass, this election could mean big things for state tax revenue and employment rates.
“The enthusiasm for pot legalization — 57 percent of Americans believe it should be legal — has spurred experts to push back against what they say is a widespread public perception that marijuana is a mild drug and less harmful than tobacco or alcohol” (Fuller, Election May Be a Turning Point for Legal Marijuana, 2016).
There are however opponents of the law that believe these ill-thought out laws will do more to harm these states then benefit them. “This is not about a war on drugs — it’s a battle to protect the human brain, the mind, our futures, our kids.” said Scott Chipman, the Southern California chairman of Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana (Fuller, 2016).
Many expects believe that if California and the other 4 states legalize for recreational use, it will be the tide that helps push against the war on Cannabis at a federal level. “According to Marijuana Business Daily, a trade publication, the recreational marijuana industry would be larger than the wine industry if use was legalized nationwide” (Fuller, 2016).
Whether or not you agree with these ballot measures, but sure to keep a watchful eye on the election results. The future of Cannabis law reform is unfolding before us and we as a country must make sure it is done so with careful attention.