This Week in Cannabis: all things marijuana legislation and legalization, Halloween candy update, and the seedier side of legal marijuana
2014 Marijuana Legislation Blazes Trails
So you may have heard that marijuana did pretty well in this year’s voter turnout.
Three of the four major 2014 marijuana legislation efforts passed the ballot vote with Alaska, Oregon and Washington D.C. all opting to legalize recreational marijuana. Here’s a breakdown of how you can consume legally in each place. Florida’s medical marijuana effort failed to get the number of votes it needed, but it was close.
Headlines about the successful campaigns to legalize the use, possession and personal cultivation of marijuana abound in the pages of large news sources throughout the nation. Here’s what some of them had to say:
CNN Politics published a somewhat bland headline “Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. legalize marijuana”.
Time took it a little further by printing, “Voters Lit Up for Marijuana in the Midterms.”
The Huffington Post offered 5 headlines, looking at the 4 major points of interest, and even throwing in Guam’s medical marijuana success for good measure.
What does this ultimately mean? Other than the fact that marijuana legislation is hotter than the business end of a lightning strike, this could be the spark that helps to set 2016 on fire for marijuana supporters around the country.
Activists and backers of progressive marijuana legislation in states like Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada can only be encouraged by the success in 3 out of the 4 major pushes in this year’s election. Even Florida, whose medical marijuana initiative didn’t quite hit the 60% vote it needed still received over 50% of the popular vote. And there are states that may have been waiting to see the 2014 results before going forward with marijuana legislation of their own in 2016.
Heady times could well be ahead for marijuana.
Other 2014 Marijuana Legislation Shifts
In addition to OR, WA, and D.C., there were a few other places that also experienced marijuana legislation victories this week. Stories like this in The Weed Blog about the vote to change laws in 8 Michigan cities regarding small amounts of marijuana points to a large-scale shift in the perception of marijuana.
Cincinnati, another city that chose to revisit its pot laws, has decriminalized and taken a page out of D.C.’s book by opting to remove old charges from those who qualify as a result of the new law’s passage.
While not quite as emphatic, but showing that the needle of public sentiment is moving, was the support for decriminalization expressed by voters in New Mexico’s counties of Santa Fe and Bernalillo (thanks again to The Weed Blog for reporting this). With the two counties’ populations representing a third of the state’s population, it is a clear message to elected officials that this is something that they should probably take notice of.
Of course, this doesn’t suggest that there will be two lamps in every garage and a plant in every pot, but it speaks to the swing in sentiments regarding the perception of marijuana around the country at both a state and city level.
Additionally a U.S. News article suggests that the growing marijuana groundswell gives advocacy groups like Marijuana Policy Project the green light to directly lobby state legislatures in places like Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire to help enact and pass marijuana legislation.
Charlo Greene All Smiles
Remember the girl who said “fuck it, I quit!” on Alaskan TV, well she’s having a grand old time celebrating the recent legalization in Alaska reports the Huffington Post.
After her now famous on-air tirade and subsequent walk out made national news, she has praised the voters who turned out in favor of the legalization passage saying, “We just made history for doing a good thing. Congratulations.” When’s the Snoop Dogg concert?
D.C. vs. Harris: Round 2
And another person to remember—or forget if you are a pro-legalization supporter—Andy Harris, is back in the headlines, too.
Not content with trying to derail the decriminalization of marijuana in the nation’s capitol (which he didn’t), The Washington Post is reporting that the Republican representative has already vowed to doubled down on his efforts by stating he is going to train his attentions on blocking the measure.
You’d hope that getting burned once would be enough to stop him, but he seems fairly committed and given the somewhat fluid nature of how and when the measure will be enacted, as well as his party’s majority on the Hill, he might make it a little more interesting this time around.
Halloweened Off of Pot Hype
In all the voting excitement, it was probably easy to overlook the terror that was the potential large scale dosing of young trick or treaters this Halloween in Colorado.
But thanks to a report from our friends at Toke of the Town, we can happily relay that not a single child was dosed with marijuana edibles this Halloween. Which makes the state 0-for-3 in Halloween candy-related issues since pot was legalized. Congratulations Colorado on another clean sheet.
Planting the Seed
Now that you can grow, where do you go to get the basic ingredient (i.e. seeds) without stepping outside state and federal boundaries?
The “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach seems to be the current attitude adopted by all involved in procuring the basic components of the marijuana trade. However, this only adds more fuel to the debate around the fuzzy and convoluted laws regarding marijuana legalization. It also begs the question, how and when are legislators going to address this grey area? The way things are going, probably pretty soon.