No matter what side of the political aisle on which you fall, there was a single general consensus about the Nov. 8th election: Marijuana won big.
Voters in California, Nevada and Massachusetts approved initiatives for recreational marijuana. Numerous other states passed medical marijuana provisions. Collectively, this proved to be one of the largest electoral victories for the reform of marijuana laws in four years, when both Washington and Colorado were the first to green-light recreational use of the drug. It’s worth noting that similar legislation in Arizona didn’t pass, with 52 percent of the voters rejecting legal marijuana.
Medical marijuana laws were passed in Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota, and Montana loosened restrictions on the existing medical marijuana statute. Supporters of marijuana reform called the night “a monumental victory.” In total the percentage of states where marijuana is now legal for adult use climbed from 5 percent to 20 percent.
With California on board, there is hope that the federal government will soon end the national prohibition on marijuana – which could perhaps spur international change. California for a long time has been the state that serves as a bellwether for marijuana reform – and opposition. It’s a state where 12 percent of the U.S. population resides, and given the potential impact on the economy and other elements, it could very well encourage federal authorities to start rethinking the way they have approached the use of marijuana for the last handful of decades. Continue reading