This November Is Going To Be Very, Very Interesting

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director March 25, 2010

    This coming November’s mid-term election is going to have major implications for cannabis law reform.

    In South Dakota, election officials last week certified Measure 13, the South Dakota Safe Access Act, for the November ballot.

    If approved by voters, Measure 13 would exempt state criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana or six plants by authorized patients — making South Dakota the fifteenth state to legalize medicinal cannabis use. Proponents of the measure, the grassroots South Dakota Coalition for Compassion, collected over twice the number of signatures necessary to place the proposal on the 2010 ballot — a feat that they believe is indicative of medical marijuana’s growing support in the Great Plains. In 2006, voters narrowly rejected a similar proposal – marking the only time that citizens have rejected a statewide medical marijuana legalization proposal.

    The stakes are arguably even higher in California, where election officials last night confirmed that the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 will appear on the November ballot.

    If approved, the measure will allow adults 21 years or older to possess, share or transport up to one ounce of cannabis for personal consumption, and/or cultivate the plant in an area of not more than twenty-five square feet per private residence. It will also permit local governments the option to authorize the retail sale of marijuana and/or commercial cultivation of cannabis to adults and to impose taxes on such sales. Personal marijuana cultivation or not-for-profit sales of marijuana would not be taxed under the measure.

    The measure will not alter or amend any aspect of the California Health and Safety code pertaining to the use of marijuana for medical purposes, when such use is authorized by a physician.

    You can read more about this proposal here.

    According to an April 2009 California Field Poll, 56 percent of state voters back legalizing and regulating the adult use and sale of cannabis.

    Other states are in play as well. Ballot drives in Washington and Oregon are ongoing, and numerous municipal measures are also pending. Meanwhile, in the nation’s Capitol, DC council members are discussing allowing authorized patients to grow their own marijuana legally — despite the federal ban.

    No matter how you look at it, this November is shaping up to be the most important month for marijuana law reform ever.

    Let the battles begin.

    109 responses to “This November Is Going To Be Very, Very Interesting”

    1. dougfresh says:

      Going to be a huge voter turnout! Lots of first time voters registering to be a part of all this.

    2. I don’t really see this failing in California or South Dakota. California is really the lynch pin though. This is going to be a cultural way point comparable to the equal rights and women’s suffrage movements. It is going to change not only the actual landscape, but the political and cultural landscape as well. For those of us interested in the movement, we will remember election day 2010 in California like we did the way we remember where we were and what we were doing when 9/11 happened. Great news!

    3. maryjanesuncle says:

      as we go forward please remember to be polite and factual, we strive against stereotypes. This will be the second time in my life that i have seen cannabis almost legal, lets not blow it at the last minute. Be strong and proud our time is coming…good on you

    4. medipatient805 says:

      California has my YES vote!!!!!!!

    5. jc says:

      I wish there was a list of the municipal measures. Saint Louis county looks like it’ll decrim this November.

    6. Anonymous says:

      This is not just about our right to get high – which we do have.

      This is about restoring america.

      This is about ending Mexican violence.

      This is about ending un-american incarceration culture.

      More is at stake than a joint. Blood of mexicans, and fresh air and sanity for americans is at stake.

      With the combination of the mounting scientific information we have about cannabis, and the knowledge of cannabis prohibition’s origin, and the knowledge of what prohibition is doing to countries across the world now… we, as a society, would be INSANE not to legalize.

    7. Tim says:

      Let the propaganda from law enforcement interests begin!

      NORML should set up a “truth squad” like Obama did to strike down the lies and slanders that we know are coming.

    8. Anonymous says:

      Imagine if we had a potion…

      Imagine this potion could potentially cure cancer. Imagine if it was shown to reduce breast cancer, slow growth of cancerous cells.

      Imagine it had miraculous uses on a pantheon of alements.

      Imagine this elixer could restore parts of american economy and society. Imagine it could restore Mexican society and economy.

      Imagine that it could be used to make clothing, paper, cars, oil, food, and anything else you could imagine.

      Imagine it had spiritual applications, mind altering applications, with no risk

      Imagine that it helped growth of brain cells.

      Imagine it were completely safe. And not only safe (neutral) but very benefitial.

      Now Imagine that the government that ‘governs you’ made a law which forbids this potion.

      Now imagine following that retarded law. They wonder why we dis-obey. Nothing is more Un-American than believing in and following laws which are un-constitutional and incongruous with the American idea – that we are all created equally, and freely, and the we are garunteed rights… including the right to smoke cannabis. (an act which Jefferson, Adams, Washington, etc were VERY fond of)

    9. Lea says:

      You bet “let the battles begin” This movement has grown in strength and in my mind we’re way past the point of the clock being turned back ever again.

      Yesterday on the news there was a quick blurb about the California measure. The newscaster said “opponents of the measure say they can defeat it”.
      To be accurate the newscasters should have said, “prohibitionists say they can defeat the measure”.