The March Toward Marijuana Legalization: 2016 and Beyond

By Phillip Smith, StoptheDrugWar.org

State-level marijuana law reform won big in this month’s elections, with legalization initiatives triumphing convincingly in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, DC. The Florida medical marijuana initiative lost, but only because it had a higher bar of 60% of the popular vote. It ended up with 57%, a clear sign of solid majority support. And don’t forget Guam — the US territory approved medical marijuana with 56% of the vote.

The California Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform is laying the groundwork for 2016. (CCPR)
The California Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform is laying the groundwork for 2016. (CCPR)

Local marijuana reform initiatives also fared well. In Maine, Massachusetts, and Michigan, activists built on earlier successes to win more victories this year, while in New Mexico, voters in Albuquerque and Santa Fe voted in favor of decriminalizing pot possession.

All in all, a good year for marijuana law reform, the second good election year in a row. Since 2012, voters in four states and DC have been asked to legalize marijuana. They’ve now said yes in all of them.

Read moreThe March Toward Marijuana Legalization: 2016 and Beyond