With Election Day now behind us, Michigan voted to legalize the recreational use of cannabis, while Utah and Missouri legalized it for medical use. However, North Dakota voted down a recreational ballot measure, though medical cannabis remains legal there. They join 31 other states that have already gone the medical route, with Michigan becoming the 10th state to have gone fully recreational.
“These ballot measures come at an interesting point where the national sentiment seems to be that we can't make the government do what we want, but somehow, we've managed to collectively drive the conversation about marijuana towards legalization. I think this shows we have a great deal of power in deciding what we value as a society,” says The Bluntness Public Policy and Regulatory Editor Sarah Sicard.
2018 has been a big year for marijuana legalization. This year, California opened the world’s biggest legal marijuana market, Vermont legalized marijuana possession (becoming the first state to do so through its legislature), and Canada became the world’s first wealthy nation to fully legalize pot.
So, the theory is that with more states voting to legalize, that attitude would trickle up to their representatives in Washington. And one particularly tall hurdle just fell on Election Day too. Republican Pete Sessions of Texas, the chairman of the House Rules Committee who's been blocking votes on cannabis amendments, just lost to Democratic challenger Colin Allred. How serious is Allred about medical marijuana? Look no further than a tweet calling Sessions out on the veterans amendment back in June.
These latest spate of victories have emboldened some leaders in the prohibition reform movement to declare that they'll push for legalization in the House. And, we certainly wish them luck and continued success in this endeavor.