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.
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.
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.