Marijuana Policy Victories In 2014
Now that the 2014 election is over, it’s easier to see that despite a few setbacks we also made some serious advances— particularly on the topic of Marijuana policy reform.
These victories for marijuana policy reform give validity to polls showing that more than half of Americans already support, and it’s only a matter of time before more states jump on board.
While not on the ballot, we’ve seen considerable progression on the issue in Texas. Polling shows that more than 60% of Texans favor laws that reduce possession laws from criminal offenses to civil offenses (which is commonly referred to as “decriminalization”), while 58% support medical marijuana laws in Texas.
So what do you think? Should Texas support marijuana policy reform? You can weigh in on the issue here.
The following are a list of states that conquered stigmas surrounding marijuana policy during the midterm elections.
Oregon and Alaska
Oregon and Alaska voted to join Colorado and Washington as the third and fourth states to legalize marijuana use for adults 21 and older. Similar to alcohol sales, the two states have established systems in which marijuana will be regulated and taxed. On the Oregon ballot, Measure 91 was approved by more than 54% of voters, and on Alaska’s ballot, Measure 2 was approved 52-48.
Voters in the nation’s capitol approved Initiative 71— an initiative that removed all penalties for possession and home growth of limited amounts of marijuana by adults 21 years of age and older— by a margin of 65-28. To date, this was the largest approval rate of any marijuana policy reform initiative in history!
South Portland, Maine
Voters approved a measure 52-48 making it the second city on the East Coast — and the second major city in Maine — to make marijuana legal for adults at the local level. A similar initiative received 45% of the vote in Lewiston, and although it didn’t win, it helped generate substantial news coverage and public dialogue.
Nearly 58% of Florida voters approved Amendment 2, which would have cleared the way for people suffering from serious illnesses to access medical marijuana based on a doctors recommendation. Unfortunately, 60% approval was required for adoption.
14 districts in the state approved Public Policy Questions directing their state representatives to support making marijuana legal for adults. While non-binding, they paved the way for a 2016 statewide ballot initiative to regulate marijuana in a similar way to alcohol.
Voters in the Michigan cities of Saginaw, Port Huron, Mt. Pleasant, Berkley, Huntington Woods, and Pleasant Ridge approved measures to decrease or remove penalties for simple marijuana possession.
Guam became the first U.S. territory to approve an initiative that would allow its residents to use medical marijuana in the treatment of debilitating medical conditions.