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A Look At The Key Marijuana Legalization Votes In 2014

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Election Day this year will be big on pot. The battle over legalizing recreational marijuana in California–the big enchilada that may tilt legalization not only in the U.S. but other countries–is already being set for 2016. But while many reformers' eyes are focused on the next presidential election, this year's votes on marijuana initiatives have the power to shape that fight.

Here are the races to watch in November:

Alaska: Legalization with tax and regulation
A 1975 Alaska Supreme Court ruling found that the right to privacy in the state included the right to grow and possess a small amount of marijuana at home. Though opponents have still fought over whether possessing marijuana is legal–sometimes in court–reformers are hoping that a long history of quasi-legalization and a noted libertarian streak will lead Alaskans to vote yes on Ballot Measure 2: It would concretely legalize retail pot, giving the the state the power to tax and regulate like in Colorado and Washington state.

Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the pro-marijuana reform group NORML, called this measure a "wobbler," with supportlong hovering around 50%. That sentiment is echoed by Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project, which spearheaded legalization in Colorado and has contributed heavily to the campaign in Alaska. "A lot of it will depend on the campaign getting its message out," Tvert said. The message got a boost this month when a local on-anchor quit her job live on TV to support the legalization effort.

Oregon: Legalization with tax and regulation
Oregon almost went along with Colorado and Washington on their experimental journey in 2012, when residents narrowly rejected a pot legalization measure 56% to 44%. This year, more activists–and more organized ones at that–have been on the scene, working with groups like the deep-pocketed Drug Policy Alliance. Still, the prospects for Measure 91 are far from a lock; a recent poll found that while 44% of likely voters support legalization, 40% oppose it.

Like Alaska, the Beaver State has a long history when it comes to marijuana, having become the first state to decriminalize it in 1973. St. Pierre said Oregon's proximity to Washington state, where creating a legal market has so far gone pretty smoothly, will help push people to vote "yes." He said Oregon is the "most viable in terms of moving the national needle," keeping up the momentum for drug-law reform that Washington and Colorado started. "Oregon will likely help lead the way for more states to follow," said Anthony Johnson, who launched the campaign for Measure 91.

Washington, D.C.: "Soft legalization"
Those are the words of St. Pierre, describing a measure that falls short of creating a full-on regulated, taxable pot market.Initiative 71 would, however, allow people to possess up to 2 oz. of marijuana and cultivate up to six plants at home without fear of criminal or civil penalty–at least in theory. If the initiative does pass, there remains a hazy line between the reaches of the local and federal governments in the District, and Congress could choose to intervene, passing laws that supersede the actions of D.C. officials.

The initiative will very likely pass: Locals support it by nearly a 2-to-1 margin. The big question is whether Congress will continue to stand down, as it did while D.C. legalized medical marijuana and decriminalized marijuana. Allowing pot plants to flourish in backyard gardens down the road from the White House could force a more serious conversation about the conflict between federal drug laws that still view marijuana as an illegal substance and newer laws that do not.

Florida: Medical marijuana
At a time when states are legalizing pot for recreational purposes, it might not seem that significant whether Floridajoins the growing list of about two-dozen states that allow medical marijuana. But St. Pierre said that nothing marijuana-related is taken lightly when it comes to political bellwether states like this one. So far, polling on support for Amendment 2has been all over the place. And the political frenzy over the initiative has drawn huge spenders like casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who shelled out at least $98 million in the 2012 elections.

Amendment 2 has a steep hill to climb, requiring a 60% supermajority to pass; neither Colorado nor Washington got past the 55% range. "Florida is a national battleground," St. Pierre said, noting how uncommon it is for people to be dropping $2.5 million checks to oppose such measures or $3.7 million checks to support them. "We've never seen a green rush like we're seeing in Florida."

Looking ahead to 2016
There are also a handful of municipalities that are going to vote on "soft legalization" measures of sorts, including the Maine towns of Lewiston and South Portland. Portland, Maine's biggest city, passed a similar measure in 2013, giving authorities the ability not to punish pot-possessors with civil or criminal penalties.

Maine is one of the states the Marijuana Policy Project will be working hard to push the way of Colorado and Washington come 2016, and even symbolic local wins could boost that effort. "Ultimately our plan is to bring a tax-and-regulate initiative statewide in 2016, so these campaigns are a way to get the message out," said David Boyer, MPP's Maine political director.

In addition to California, Tvert said his group is already hard at work in Nevada, collecting petition signatures. And he said campaigns will be ramping up in Arizona and Massachusetts soon. Generally, marijuana initiatives do better when there is larger voter turnout, and voter turnout is typically bigger in presidential election years. "This is the penultimate year for marijuana law reform," St. Pierre said of 2014. "California is totally on reformers' menu. ... No one else moves if they don't move."



News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Source: Fortune.com
Author: Katy Steinmetz, TIME
Contact: Contact Us
Website: A look at the key marijuana legalization votes in 2014 - Fortune
 
I vote pro cannabis, and I vote in every election. If you've not voted for some reason or another, nows the time to bone up on the process and start looking hard at who and what you will vote for.

DRM Ranch
 
I won`t vote for taxation and control by government ! MMP is backed by people who just want to make money off you. Same old ,same old ! Dirty politics! Instead I`m voting for cchi2014.org a grass roots effort to re-legalize cannabis without all the regulation, control and excessive taxes! Do not be fool by lots of money being poured into advertisements and sponsors who will make money off these laws ! Let them know with your vote that you want real legalization and have more than one brain cell left in your head when you go to the polls ! Check out cchi2014.org and then check out the laws sponsored by Normal& MMP and decide how you want your future!
 

c526

Member of the Month: Jan 2015 - Plant of the Month: Jan 2015
Wish I could vote.

I thought this was the United States,so how can a joint be enjoyed at the nations capital,but you cant smoke in a open field in Texas??
its like every state is its own little country,silly,stupid and sad all in one breath,If it does pass,Ill bet congress comes in and burns everyone.silly fools.

Washington, D.C.: "Soft legalization"
Those are the words of St. Pierre, describing a measure that falls short of creating a full-on regulated, taxable pot market.Initiative 71 would, however, allow people to possess up to 2 oz. of marijuana and cultivate up to six plants at home without fear of criminal or civil penalty–at least in theory. If the initiative does pass, there remains a hazy line between the reaches of the local and federal governments in the District, and Congress could choose to intervene, passing laws that supersede the actions of D.C. officials.

The initiative will very likely pass: Locals support it by nearly a 2-to-1 margin. The big question is whether Congress will continue to stand down, as it did while D.C. legalized medical marijuana and decriminalized marijuana. Allowing pot plants to flourish in backyard gardens down the road from the White House could force a more serious conversation about the conflict between federal drug laws that still view marijuana as an illegal substance and newer laws that do not.
 
Soft legalization is such a funny term, as well as this math.
...possess up to 2 oz. of marijuana and cultivate up to six plants...
Looks like you expected to have a joint a day or slightly less between harvests but not more. A single plant that produces more than 2 oz. of product could put you easily over your limit...guess your screwed if your a good grower.

I'm less and less fond of people every day.

DRM Ranch
 

c526

Member of the Month: Jan 2015 - Plant of the Month: Jan 2015
I understand,markscastle.in theory, never sure I will understand it.mentally,atleast not for this issue.

when I think American,I think all for one,one for all
Not Cali,American,Maine-american,Dc-american,Ny-american.ect,
I hope I live to someday,be free.
 
I understand,markscastle.in theory, never sure I will understand it.mentally,atleast not for this issue.

when I think American,I think all for one,one for all
Not Cali,American,Maine-american,Dc-american,Ny-american.ect,
I hope I live to someday,be free.
Think of it this way, if we were all to be taxed in a manner such as the folks in ... say ... New York, well the good folks of Kansas would be put in a bad situation. Our individual states help prevent such a thing from happening, they each have the ability to adjust their own state taxes in such a way as to compensate for the needs of the people who live there.

While it would be nice in some situations if a particular privilege granted in California (for example) was in effect across all states, however, not all states have equal ability to afford the same privileges for their citizens, and not all citizens want the same privileges to be available to their neighbors. For example the fine folks in California have decided that a citizen shouldn't own a weapon that uses the 50BMG type ammunition, where in Kentucky it is quite acceptable to use that very same ammunition for squirrel, deer, pig, coyote, ground hog, turtle, rat hunting as well as home protection or just plink'n. Kentucky has afforded us with the ability to have pretty much any boom stick known to man, such a privilege is thought to be a bad idea by a good enough portion of Californians to have it written into law forbidding such.

While it is not exactly fair to the minority of folks who want to lug around a 50BMG rifle or pistol, we do live in a democracy where we are subject to the whims of others and their majority vote. Thus I will buy a Model 99 .416 Barrett and flip the bird to other Californians that think badly of those of us who like to fling metal at stuff and make a big bang in doing so.

Our system of states and their differing laws and regulations is a good thing, the differences act as a buffer to stupid laws at worst, and at best we have the ability to move to another state if we are unhappy with the laws of our current state. I'd certainly rather have options rather than none.

We would love to be able to go outside and toke away on our favorite THC-CBD delivery system in any state we want, the fact is not everyone is as cool with that as we are just yet. It seems to be coming, and that's a good thing, but for now we must strive to understand that our view is not the majority and work to change the perception of cannabis as a bad thing into a good thing.

We live in a society where folks want what they want faster than ever before, the internet has given us near instant access to information, we have what amounts to easy living with our huge shopping centers and groceries, nearly everyone can ride or drive to and from where they were and where they need to go, etc. Waiting for things to happen it seems is a thing of the past, but that is not the case with laws. We have to wait.

DRM Ranch
 

c526

Member of the Month: Jan 2015 - Plant of the Month: Jan 2015
Im tired of waiting lmao

Can i move?,sure.but man,I love where I'm at,have built a very good life,people here are wonderful. am in the process of selling everything and heading out,for 1 reason only.So with that, also go 30 jobs my wife and I provide.who is really winning??I dont think,We the people.

will be sad to leave where im at,it really will.employes are not happy,30 families will go with out paychecks
for 1 stupid reason...