There has never been a bigger night for the marijuana law reform community, and Election Night 2016 did not disappoint the foes of cannabis prohibition.
Voters in 9 states went to the polls to decide on either medical marijuana issues or legalization for all adults. Victory was achieved in 8 of those states (although a fight still rages on in Maine, a state that has been called by some but that still has some votes outstanding with the “Yes” proponents up about 7,000 votes).
Recreational legalization passed in California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine while Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota voters passed medical marijuana bills. In Montana voters removed many of the restrictions that had recently been placed on their state’s medical marijuana program.
The only blemish on the night was the loss of Proposition 205 in Arizona, which failed by about 80,000 votes out of almost 2 million cast.
“This is the most momentous Election Day in history for the movement to end marijuana prohibition,” Rob Kampia, Executive Director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement. “From Los Angeles to Boston, voters are casting their ballots in favor of sensible marijuana policy reforms. Today’s results are right in line with national polls showing record-high support for making marijuana legal.
“These votes send a clear message to federal officials that it’s time to stop arresting and incarcerating marijuana users. Congress must take action to ease the tension between state and federal marijuana laws. Once this new batch of state laws takes effect over the next couple of months, marijuana will be legal in more than half a dozen states, and we expect several more to follow during the 2017-2018 legislative and election cycles. The end of prohibition is near, and it would be a mistake for the federal government to continue waging war on its own nonviolent citizens. How do you ask a DEA agent to be the last man to enforce a mistake?”
The end of marijuana prohibition is certainly near. It’s up to us to put the final nails in the coffin.