Although legalizing recreational cannabis was not on the ballot in any state this voting cycle, marijuana took a big step forward with new governors, cities and counties stepping up for cannabis. Here’s how it went down.
Phil Murphy in New Jersey
New Jersians elected Phil Murphy as their new governor with the votes coming in at 1,154,978 to 878, 578. One of Phil’s main platforms of his campaign was to end cannabis prohibition. In a speech in June he announced:
“The criminalization of marijuana has only served to clog our courts and cloud people’s futures, so we will legalize marijuana,”
As for why he supports legalizing marijuana he had this to say:
“And while there are financial benefits, this is overwhelmingly about doing what is right and just.”
Phil Murphy replaces Chris Christie, who was very loud about keeping marijuana prohibition alive.
Ralph Northam in Virginia
Ralph Northam took the Governor’s office and also put marijuana on the forefront of his campaign. Ralph points out how decriminalizing marijuana could benefit Virginians in a letter to the Virginia State Crime Commission:
“Virginia spends $67 million on marijuana enforcement – enough to open up another 13,000 pre-K spots for children”
In a speech he said this:
“We need to change sentencing laws that disproportionately hurt people of color. One of the best ways to do this is to decriminalize marijuana,”
He will likely get a lot done for marijuana in the state of Virginia because Virginia also elected many Democratic seats to the House of Delegates.
Cities Speaking Up
In the city of Athens, Ohio, voters overwhelmingly approved a Marijuana Ordinance which completely eliminates fines and court costs for possession or growing up to 200 grams of marijuana. Making the home of Ohio University safe to light up in.
In Detroit, Michigan voters approved ballot measures which will enhance medical marijuana business in the city. Voters in Detroit are seeing the economic benefits of taxing marijuana and are getting closer to full legalization within the state.
People across the nation are seeing what legal weed can do for their country. Legalizing weed is: providing needed funds to the government, creating a new economic industry for business to develop, healing people and generally making people happy. The more people who see this trend, the closer we will get to ending cannabis prohibition in our country. Each election cycle shows the steps we are taking in that direction. Which makes us excited to see what the next election will bring!