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MARIJUANA MIDTERM: Smoke the Vote November 4th

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director November 3, 2014

    2014electionbanner

    Tomorrow is Election Day and voters across the country will be faced with measures regarding marijuana law reform and some difficult legislative races. To help keep you on top of all the upcoming votes, we are issuing this helpful primer on what races to watch as the results begin to roll in. Don’t forget, we will be running live election coverage right here on blog.norml.org all night, so check back in tomorrow evening to stay on top of all the breaking exit polls, news stories, and official results. Don’t forget to get out and cast your ballot, click here if you need help finding your polling place and other voting information.

    On the Ballot:

    Voters in three states and in numerous municipalities, including Washington, DC, will decide this Election Day on ballot measures seeking to significantly amend marijuana laws.

    Voters in Alaska will decide on Ballot Measure 2, which seeks to legalize the adult possession of up to one ounce of cannabis as well as the cultivation of up to six-plants for personal consumption. The measure would also allow for the establishment of licensed, commercial cannabis production and retail sales of marijuana and marijuana-infused products to those over the age of 21. Commercial production and retail sales of cannabis would be subject to taxation, but no taxes would be imposed upon those who choose to engage in non-commercial activities (e.g., growing small quantities of marijuana for personal use and/or engaging in not-for-profit transfers of limited quantities of cannabis.) Public consumption of cannabis would be subject to a civil fine.

    Voters in California will decide on Proposition 47, which seeks to reduce penalties for various drug possession crimes, including offenses involving the possession of hashish or other concentrated forms of cannabis.

    Voters in Florida will decide on a constitutional amendment (Amendment 2) that would permit physicians the discretion to authorize cannabis therapy to their patients. The measure would also direct the state Department of Health to establish regulations for the establishment of licensed medical cannabis cultivators and dispensaries. Under the proposal, authorized patients would not be permitted to cultivate their own marijuana. Because the proposal seeks to amend the Florida state constitution, it requires the support of more than 60 percent of voters in order for passage.

    Voters in Oregon will decide on Measure 91, which seeks to regulate the commercial production, retail sale, and personal use of marijuana by adults. Adults who engage in the non-commercial cultivation of limited amounts of cannabis for personal use (up to four marijuana plants and eight ounces of usable marijuana at a given time) will not be subject to taxation or commercial regulations. Passage of the initiative would not “amend or affect in any way the function, duties, and powers of the Oregon Health Authority under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act.”

    Citizens residing in the US territory Guam will decide on Proposal 14A, the Compassionate Cannabis Use Act. If approved by voters, the measure would “direct the Department of Public Health and Social Services to regulate the use of marijuana as treatment for medical conditions.” The Department would have up to nine months following the law’s passage to provide rules for the territory’s medical marijuana program.

    In the District of Columbia, voters will decide on Initiative 71, which would remove criminal and civil penalties regarding the adult possession of up to two ounces of cannabis and/or the cultivation of up to six plants. Adults who engage in not-for-profit transactions of small quantities of cannabis or who possess marijuana-related paraphernalia would also no longer be subject to penalty under this act. The measure would not establish a regulatory framework for the regulation of a commercial cannabis market. Because Washington, DC does not possess statehood, all District laws are subject to Congressional approval prior to their implementation.

    In Maine, voters in the cities of Lewiston and South Portland will decide on municipal measures eliminating local penalties in regard to the adult possession of up to one ounce of cannabis.

    In Massachusetts, voters in eight select districts in the state will decide on non-binding public policy questions asking, “Shall the State Representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of legislation that would allow the state to regulate and tax marijuana in the same manner as alcohol?” There will also be several other ballot questions regarding the legalization of marijuana in other locations, you can read about these in-depth here and here.

    In Michigan, voters in eleven cities – Berkley, Clare, Frankfort, Harrison, Huntington Woods, Lapeer, Mt. Pleasant, Onaway, Pleasant Ridge, Port Huron, and Saginaw – will decide on local ballot measures seeking to depenalize minor marijuana possession offenses by adults.

    In New Mexico, voters in Bernalillo will decide on a non-binding countywide ballot measure asking citizens whether to reduce minor marijuana possession offenses from a criminal misdemeanor to a fine-only, civil offense.

    Voters in several additional cities in California and Colorado will also decide on Election Day on various measures specific to marijuana cultivation, taxation, and dispensing. Washington state voters will also decide on an advisory measure (Advisory Vote No. 8) in regard to agricultural tax preferences for the marijuana industry.

    NORML PAC Candidates:

    The NORML Political Action Committee has made endorsements of candidates in a variety of states. View the below list to see if a NORML PAC endorsed candidate will be on the ballot in your state:

    US House of Representatives

    US Senate

    Other:

    Be sure to stay tuned to blog.norml.org for coverage all Election Day, including a live blog in the evening as the results begin pouring in. Most importantly, don’t forget to get to your local polling place and SMOKE THE VOTE!

    5 Responses to “MARIJUANA MIDTERM: Smoke the Vote November 4th”

    1. Austin says:

      Which cities in California are deciding on specific measures related to marijuana?

    2. Anonymous1 says:

      Congrats NORML for getting everyone this far, your contributions have been huge in getting to where we are!

      Come on americans, let’s get this legalization wheel grinding on the politicians that would accept bribes from the big towacko industries and put the pressure on!

    3. Here’s a list of the local initiatives in California: http://www.mpp.org/states/california/2014-local-voter-initiatives.html

      The areas are city of Encinitas, city of La Mesa, city of Santa Ana, Santa Cruz county, city of Santa Cruz, Lake county, Nevada country, Butte county, city of Shasta Lake, and Shasta county.

    4. trevor says:

      Butte county and shasta county are voting on measures to try and limit plant grow size and location

    5. Julian says:

      Thanks again for that link to donate to the Beto O’Rourke’s campaign. He sent me a thank you letter showing he made well more than $150,000 in donations in the 24 hour crowd-funding he put together on a marijuana platform with NORML’s help. I wish him the best tonight. Texas needs him.

      As for Florida, I’m not sure it’s money that is going to be the game changer, even though we out-spent Sheldon Adleson, who is probably hedging his bets on the loser again anyway.

      Whether or not we cross the threshold with more than %50 of the U.S. population voting for pro-marijuana legislation will be determined by Florida tonight. That means whether or not the Supreme Court hears the marijuana descheduling case “U.S. government v. Pickard et al,” after Judge Mueller makes her likely decision for the defense late December/ Early January, will be determined by whether or not Floridians decide to either:

      A) stay at home and let their government decide whether it is moral to incarcerate the sick and the poor for minor posessions of marijuana, or

      B)Floridians take their destiny into their own hands, click on the link up above to find their local polling station, and forever change the quality of life for millions of Americans and many more billions of people across the planet by voting for legalization.

      Dare I say it, Florida, the fate of millions of lives are in your hands tonight. All you have to do is get out and VOTE. May God have mercy on our souls.

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