The war on drugs will have more skirmishes this election season. This November the American people won’t be voting on the President, but many will be voting on the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana. Seven states, around 17 municipalities, and one U.S. territory will be voting on drug policy reform questions this November. This is more than at any time in history!
Legalization of Marijuana
In November, Oregon will be voting on Measure 91, a bill that will make the Beaver state the third state to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older. The measure will legalize the possession of small amounts of the drug and create a system to regulate marijuana sales and production. The District of Columbia has already adopted a wide reaching marijuana decriminalization law. In November, the District of Columbia will take it a step further and propose the legalization of small amounts of marijuana for adults 21 and older. The D.C. Council is also considering the taxation and regulation of marijuana within the district.
Alaska made the possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana legal in the 1970s. And in 1998 the state legalized the use of medical marijuana. This year Measure 2 would make the possession of marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age or older, and like the Oregon ballet it would establish a statewide regulated system of cultivation and sales.
Amendment 2 in Florida will propose legalizing medical marijuana in the sunshine state. The successful adaptation of the bill will make Florida the first southern state to approve such a measure, and will make it the 24th state to recognize marijuana as a legitimate form of medicine. Guam could also become the first U.S. territory to adopt medical marijuana if a current medical marijuana bill is passed later this year.
California will consider reducing the charge of simple drug possession from a felony to a misdemeanor. 3 cities in Maine, 11 cities in Michigan, and 2 cities in New Mexico, will also be voting on the decriminalization of the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
This voting season is proof that public opinion about marijuana is changing. The passage of the proposed initiatives would be a major victory in the war on marijuana, and would set a hosts of precedents that could lead to legalization nationwide.
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