With full-out victories in Oregon, D.C., and even Alaska yesterday, marijuana advocates are already preparing for their next target, and it's a big one: my home, the Golden State, California.
Seems like the 2010 push to fully legalize marijuana in California was a lifetime ago now. We used to be at the forefront of the cannabis movement. Now over the past four years, I've watched five states pass us by (legally speaking, never in quality) while California has remained at a virtual standstill. However, it is not for lack of trying, or at least pondering the idea of trying to tackle the recreational issue this election.
A coalition of pro-cannabis activists considered putting a tax-and-regulate measure on this year’s ballot in California. The polling showed positive support in the state for such a measure, but they were unable to "pull the trigger" because of the bad taste and memories still remaining from 2010 when the legalization proposal also polled well but still ultimately fell short.
The pro-pot activists feel that 2016 being an election year will bring out a bumper crop of young voters and more voters overall, as presidential elections always bring a bigger crowd than mid-terms, and it is this larger platform that they hope to capitalize on.
That's not to say that yesterday was a complete success—Florida, which I personally felt was a lock to legalize medical marijuana—fell just 2% short of the 60% margin needed to pass.
California is not the only state eyeing 2016; Massachusetts, Maine, and I'll even throw Florida in are all strong contenders to go legal in the upcoming election year.