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This Tuesday voters across America weighed in on a variety of issues, many of them relating to medical and/or recreational marijuana. While not all voters voted directly for or against marijuana legalization, many of the elections had measures that would affect marijuana legalization, such as choice of governor. Here’s an overview of what happened during the elections and how we can expect it to effect marijuana legalization down the road.
New York voters vetoed a proposal for a constitutional convention in 2018. Marijuana advocates were hoping to use the convention to legalize recreational marijuana, but will now focus their efforts on the legislature in hopes of marijuana legalization.
Michigan voters in Detroit voted to allow medical marijuana dispensaries to stay open for longer as well as operate in a wider variety of locations. Marijuana advocates in the state are hoping to place marijuana legalization on the ballots for the statewide 2018 election.
Philadelphia brought in Lawrence Krasner as their new top prosecutor. Krasner has spoken before about how he sees benefits to not enforcing marijuana policy because he believes that it helps reduce the amount of opioid deaths in the country.
Voters in Athens, Ohio, voted to decriminalize marijuana in their town by the staggering margin of 77% supporting to 23% opposed. Marijuana advocates are hoping that this inspires the legislature to take a second look at not only Ohio’s medical marijuana laws, but also the legalization of recreational marijuana in the next election.
Virginia elected Ralph Northam as the next governor of the state, a candidate who ran on a platform of marijuana decriminalization. Northam not only supports decriminalization, but also the expansion of Virginia’s medical marijuana laws and allowing industrial hemp cultivation in the state. No word yet on his opinion of recreational marijuana.
New Jersey elected Phil Murphy to be their next governor, a man who touted the importance of marijuana legalization throughout his campaign. Senators who support legalization in the state have already promised to have a marijuana legalization bill on the new governor’s desk as soon as possible after he takes office in January 2018.