Cannabis on the Ballot
This November 4th voters across the country will decide whether or not their states should move forward with some form of cannabis legislation. Find some information on them here, and reach out to your friends and families who will have a chance to participate in these historic votes.
Florida, Amendment 2
This amendment would allow the Florida Department of Health to register and regulate centers that will distribute marijuana for medical purposes. The polling on this amendment has been fluctuating. Companies, executives, and investors from real estate, construction, and agriculture have provided large donations in support of the campaign while Drug Free Florida, supported financially by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has been pushing back.
Oregon, Measure 91
This measure "would remove penalties for adults 21 and older who possess, use, and grow a limited amount of marijuana. It would also direct the Oregon Liquor Commission to "establish a system of strictly regulated and registered marijuana producers, wholesalers, processors, and retailers." Oregon was the first state to "decriminalize" the possession of cannabis in 1973, so it is only fitting that they join us in showing the country what a regulated and controlled cannabis market can do for the community.
Alaska, Measure 2
Alaska joins Oregon as a pioneering cannabis state hoping to "regulate marijuana like alcohol". In 1975 the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the personal use of small amounts of cannabis was protected by the right to privacy as granted by the Alaskan constitution. In a state in which 81% of all drug arrests are for marijuana possession, a new approach seems sensible to many. Click here to read "Vote yes on Ballot Measure 2; end Alaska's failed prohibition of marijuana" by Dr. Tim Hinterberger, "a professor in the School of Medical Education at University of Alaska Anchorage, with teaching responsibilities in anatomy and neuroscience and a research program in molecular embryology. He chairs the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol."
Washington D.C.Initiative 71
Imagine a part of our country that is exclusively under the jurisdiction of congress, yet allows for the possession of 2 ounces and private cultivation of 3 plants. This scenario couldn't be more appropriate to describe our country's mish mash of cannabis regulation, and could very well become reality if Washington D.C. voters approve Initiative 71.
This U.S. territory is considering a proposal which would "direct the Department of Public Health and Social Services to regulate the use of marijuana as treatment for medical conditions or diseases specified in the proposal or designated by the Department at a later time." If you think this is too far from home to be relevant to you think again. We have had family members of cannabis patients from Guam come to The CPC just to learn more about the plant.
Local Measures, CA, CO, ME, MA, MI, NM.
Numerous local initiatives exist throughout California. Check this list to see if you or anyone you know is included. Californians must also decide their position on Proposition 47, the Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative. While many find it hard to give consideration to inmates at the ballot box, this reform could deliver justice to those adversely effected by the War on Drugs, and help California's overcrowded prison system.
As cannabis legalization continues in Colorado, voters will have the chance to decide how their Counties, Cities, and Towns would like to approach the subject. Various local measures relating to retail stores and taxes can be found here.
Maine continues to force the conversation. After Portland citizens voted to "to stop punishing adults for possessing small amounts of marijuana." a few other cities have the chance to vote on making possession of up to one ounce of marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age or older.
In Massachusetts some voters will see "Public Policy Questions" on their ballot. Their decisions will not result in the passage or failure of any policy, but will instead direct elected officials by answering questions such as “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?"
Various cities across Michigan are involved in a coordinated effort aimed at "eliminating local ordinances that make possession of small amounts of marijuana a criminal offense for adults." See the list here.
As another encouraging sign of progress, voters in the Bernalillo and Santa Fe Counties of New Mexico will see "Public Policy Questions" regarding decriminalization. Click here for some relevant statistics regarding cannabis and these New Mexico counties