Marijuana reform had a big night

Election day 2012 provided a number of victories for modernizing marijuana laws.

Colorado, Washington state and the city of Detroit all legalized recreational marijuana and Massachusetts approved medical marijuana. Much like gay marriage, the Republicans can no longer win at will with whipping up fear among voters. It no longer is an issue that Democrats should have to run away from, as more and more voters are comfortable with modernization.

Despite the success at the polls, there still remains the question of what will happen at the federal level. The Obama administration has not been friendly towards voter approvals at the state or local level so far, but remember, the administration also fought against gay rights until more recently. As the older voters who remain terrified of marijuana legalization die off, younger voters fail to see why it’s such a big deal.

Marijuana

Marijuana via Shutterstock

If we’re going to talk about the budget crisis (again), why keep throwing money at fighting the so-called war on drugs when voters don’t care about it? If anything, maintaining the same old war only contributes to the drug violence problem both in the US and south of the border.

It’s no longer risky for the political class to get worked up about standing in support of marijuana legalization because the trends at this point are obvious.

NBC News:

Voters in Colorado and Washington on Tuesday approved measures allowing adults to use marijuana for any purpose, NBC News projected, marking an historic turning point in the slow-growing acceptance of marijuana usage.

In Massachusetts, voters also approved an initiative allowing people to use marijuana for medicinal purposes, NBC News projected. In Arkansas, a similar initiative failed, according to NBC News projections.

In all, voters in six states were being asked to decide on a wide array of laws around legalizing marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes.

For more on the results, also head over to the Law Enforcement for Prohibition blog that has a lot more. This is an interesting group, made up of law enforcement officials around the country who want to end the wasteful war on drugs. They are doing a lot of good things out there and will surely need your help moving forward.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • A reader in Colorado

    Perhaps they could all be transferred over to the FBI, to investigate bank fraudsters.  I’m sure the CEO of Merryl Lynch would appreciate the DEA Agents’ raid style.

  • samiinh

    This would be good for the economy.  Munchie manufacturers, distributors, and retail sales.  Tax the stuff at all levels and whohoo…nor more deficit spending.  Sell it to the Chinese, the Europeans, the Middle East..they all like to smoke.  

  • Dave of the Jungle

    “Mile High City” has a whole new meaning.

  • AndyIndy

    Bravo Chris, wonderful read !

    “If we’re going to talk about the budget crisis (again), why keep throwing money at fighting the so-called war on drugs………” 

  • trinu

    A lot of enforcement of marijuana bans depends on local police officers.  That goes away when states legalize it.

    Also, Chris, your post says “Law Enforcement For Prohibition,” shouldn’t that be “Law Enforcement Against Prohibition”?

  • Naja pallida

    If the DEA was suddenly ordered to stop enforcing marijuana prohibition, they would lose about a billion dollars in funding over night. That scares them shitless.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Right now, the simplest path to untangle this legal mess is for the DEA and HHS to reclassify cannabis as a Schedule III drug (i.e., has legitimate medical uses, which is pretty much accepted as truth by most of the medical community). There have been a number of petitions filed to make this happen, but unfortunately the DEA has been stonewalling.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001426939279 Carl Kerstann

    It needs to be made clear to the administration that support can be withdrawn. Obama himself said politicians are elected to do what the people want done, he needs to support this.

  • Dano2

    Colo elected officials not happy about it and incompetent Denver mayor has no clue how to go about making it happen. Maybe Hick can do his work for him, but I suspect this will be half-$$ed at best, as they don’t want to do this work.

    Best,

    D

  • Naja pallida

    And I even had to leave my place in line to go get munchies.

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