This Week in Cannabis: Voting season is upon us. Here’s a quick look at some of the 2014 marijuana ballot initiatives and numbers that could have an impact on marijuana (both medical and recreational) in the weeks, months and years to come.
Checking all the Right Boxes
Next week is a fairly significant milestone for marijuana legalization in its various forms, with 2014 marijuana ballot initiatives being cast on November 4 in Oregon, Alaska, Washington D.C. and Florida.
Some of the marijuana ballot initiatives could be in jeopardy of not passing according to the pools. Alaska, for one, having failed on two occasions to get the requisite votes in 2000 and 2004, had two polls released on the same day with contradictory findings.
Oregon is another state that has seen efforts to legalize marijuana ballot initiatives thwarted at the booth. But this year could be different for both states. The Huffington Post takes an interesting look at some of the factors that could influence how it all shakes out this voting season and the impact it will have in other marijuana legalization efforts in 2016.
To all those that can make a difference, remember to check the box. And mail them in!
Millions of Legal Reasons in Alaska
According to the Colorado research group, Marijuana Policy Group, the tax windfall for the Alaskan state coffers would measure in the millions should voters opt to approve the marijuana ballot initiative next week.
The group projects that only 22% of the first year’s consumption will come from legal recreational sales but would still account for an eye-watering $7million. By 2020, that number is expected to crest $23million.
Interestingly enough, the group (which is neutral on Measure 2, the legalization initiative) provided the service gratis in lieu of the Alaska Department of Revenue’s decision to not perform a forecast of its own.
Running Florida Medical Marijuana Back up the Polls
It’s been an up-and-down last couple of months in Florida for the medical marijuana ballot initiative according to the polls. Amendment 2 has swung from being a slam-dunk a year ago to being on life support in the last month.
According to Toke of the Town, however, a recent Anzalone Liszt Grove poll suggests that 62% of likely voters will approve the marijuana ballot initiative—which would be enough to get it to pass next week.
Regardless, come November 4, the decision will be made by voters, not surveys.
Medical Marijuana Goes on Unemployment
Before votes regarding marijuana ballot initiatives are even cast, there was a victory of sorts for marijuana reform in Michigan this week.
The Detroit Free Press reported that a Michigan Court of Appeals found in favor of state-registered medical marijuana users can claim unemployment insurance if they lose their jobs after testing positive for marijuana in the workplace.
This is good precedent in what is turning into a point of contention for medical marijuana users in those states where it is legal. It also suggests a changing tide as to the perception of marijuana as a medical substance versus a dangerous drug.
The age-old question of whether or not marijuana has medicinal properties apparently has an age old answer. A Huffington Post article reports that a Fifth Century BC Siberian mummy was found with a container of cannabis next to her. The use? “It is likely that for this sick woman, the regular inhalation of cannabis smoke was a necessity.”
Seems like there was no scheduling practices back then.