This Election Day marks 10 years since voters in Colorado and Washington state legalized weed. More states soon followed, and today, 19 have legalized the still federally illegal drug, while another…
The post Legalizing weed is a major midterms issue. It’s about time. appeared first on Cannabis Business Executive – Cannabis and Marijuana industry news.
This Election Day marks 10 years since voters in Colorado and Washington state legalized weed. More states soon followed, and today, 19 have legalized the still federally illegal drug, while another 20 or so allow medical use. Legal weed is here to stay. Most people like it. A November 2021 Gallup poll found 68 percent of the public supports nationwide legalization. More than 80 percent of Democrats favor it, and Republicans are evenly split. In 2020, five states of varying hues voted on medical or recreational use—Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota—and all of them passed it. It outperformed Joe Biden in every case.
“Legalization illustrates the power of voting more than any other issue in living memory,” Sam D’Arcangelo, director of the Cannabis Voter Project at Headcount, a non-profit that registers voters at concerts, festivals and other events, said. “It’s a way government has improved lives.”
Thus far, however, legalization has played only a marginal role in national electoral politics. There are three related reasons: You don’t get elected taking away the people’s weed, and pot-skeptical pols have learned to evolve or keep quiet. Second, they can get away with that silence because many legalization supporters running for office aren’t comfortable making it a centerpiece of their campaigns anyway. Third, the importance of state ballot initiatives in advancing legalization further distances the issue from the campaigns of individual politicians. The result is often that both sides’ major candidates ignore, and therefore neutralize, the weed vote.
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