Category: initiatives

Marijuana in the 2013 Elections

Today, voters across the nation head to the polls to cast their ballots in a number of state and local elections. While there are no statewide marijuana initiatives this year, that doesn’t mean some Americans won’t have the chance to vote in favor of sensible marijuana law reforms. In Portland, Maine, Question 1 will appear on the ballot. This measure would remove all criminal and civil penalties for possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana within the city. No arrest, no fine, no crime. NORML encourages all Portland residents […]

President Obama Breaks His Silence on Marijuana Legalization: We’ve Got Bigger Fish to Fry Than Cannabis Users

Breaking his silence on the topic of marijuana legalization since two states approved ballot initiatives to regulate cannabis, President Barack Obama addressed the issue in an interview with Barbara Walters this week. While the administration’s broader policy is still being developed, the president stated that arresting recreational users in these states would not be a priority. “We’ve got bigger fish to fry. It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it’s legal. – President Obama […]

The Hill.com: “Voters Say ‘No’ To Pot Prohibition”

I have an op/ed today online at The Hill.com’s influential Congress blog (“Where lawmakers come to blog”). Read an excerpt from it below: Voters say ‘No’ to pot prohibition via TheHill.com Voters in Colorado and Washington made history on Election Day. For the first time ever, a majority of voters decided at the ballot box to abolish cannabis prohibition. … Predictably, the federal government – which continues to define cannabis as equally dangerous to heroin – is not amused. According to various media reports, the Justice Department is in the […]

Six States To Decide Tomorrow On Marijuana Measures

Millions of voters will decide on Election Day in favor of ballot measures to legalize and regulate the use of cannabis by adults. Voters in three states — Colorado, Oregon, and Washington — will decide on statewide ballot measures to legalize the possession and distribution of cannabis for those over 21 years of age. Voters in three additional states — Arkansas, Massachusetts, and Montana — will decide on measures to allow for the therapeutic use of cannabis by patients with qualifying ailments. In Michigan, voters in four cities – totaling […]

Alternet: “Why Election Day Marks the Beginning of the End of Marijuana Prohibition”

Why Election Day Marks the Beginning of the End of Marijuana Prohibition via Alternet.org The criminalization of cannabis is a policy that has been in place federally since 1937 and on the state level, in many instances, long before that. Yet, it is a policy that fails to withstand serious scrutiny and possesses only limited public support. Today, a majority of Americans espouse ending America’s nearly century-long, failed experiment with cannabis prohibition and replacing it with a system of limited legalization and regulation. Recent national polls by Gallup , Rasmussen, […]

US News & World Report: “Should Marijuana Use Be Legalized?”

Next Tuesday, three voters in three states — Colorado, Oregon, and Washington — will be deciding on statewide ballot measures to legalize the adult possession, use, and distribution of cannabis. Today, US News & World Report ‘Debate Club’ asks its readers: “Should marijuana use be legalized?” I, along with Alison Holcolm (New Approach Washington), provide commentaries in favor of ending cannabis prohibition. [Update: MPP’s Morgan Fox also now has a commentary here.] An excerpt from my op/ed appears below: Marijuana Regulation Works and Prohibition Fails via US News & World […]

Michigan Cities To Vote On Cannabis Depenalization Measures Next Week

Voters in Arkansas, Colorado, Massachusetts, Montana, Oregon, and Washington will not be the only ones deciding on marijuana policy on Election Day. Voters in four Michigan cities — totaling over a million people — will also decide on Tuesday whether to legalize or depenalize the adult use of cannabis. Voters in Detroit will decide on Proposal M, which removes criminal penalties pertaining to the possession on private property of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults over age 21. In Flint, Michigan voters will decide on a citizens’ initiative […]

Marijuana Arrests Decline In 2011, But Still Total Half Of All Illicit Drug Violations

Police made 757,969 arrests in 2011 for marijuana-related offenses, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. The total is a decrease from past years. During the years 2006 to 2010, police annually made over 800,000 arrests for cannabis violations. According to the report, marijuana arrests now comprise one-half of all illicit drug arrests in the United States. Approximately 43 percent of all drug violations are for cannabis possession. “As in past years, the so-called ‘drug war’ remains fueled by the arrests of minor marijuana […]

Study: Over 200,000 Marijuana Arrests In Colorado Over Past 25 Years

In the 25 years from 1986 to 2010, police and sheriffs’ departments in Colorado made 210,000 arrests for the crime of possessing small amounts of marijuana, according to a report released today by the Marijuana Arrest Research Project. The study finds that cannabis arrests have risen sharply in the state, from 4,000 in 1986 to 10,500 in 2010, and that young people are most likely to among those arrested. According to the report, eighty-six percent of those arrested for cannabis offenses were age 34 or younger; 79 percent were 29 […]

Most Statewide Marijuana Initiatives Lead Solidly In Polls

Four of the six statewide marijuana initiatives appearing on the November 2012 ballot are solidly favored among likely voters. Voters in six states – Arkansas, Colorado, Massachusetts, Montana, Oregon, and Washington – will be deciding on marijuana-specific ballot measures this November. In Massachusetts, voters will decide on Question 3, a statewide proposal that seeks to allow for the physician-recommended possession and state-licensed distribution of cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Arkansas voters will decide on a similar measure, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act of 2012. Montana voters will decide on Initiative Referendum […]