Nine States and Localities Vote for More Sensible Drug Laws
In a historic night for drug law reformers, on Tuesday, Colorado and Washington voters passed measures legalizing and regulating marijuana, Massachusetts became the 18th state to allow medical marijuana and six localities voted to modernize policies on marijuana.
"I cannot tell you how happy I am that after 40 years of the racist, destructive exercise in futility that is the war on drugs, my home state of Washington has now put us on a different path," said Norm Stamper, former Seattle police chief who is now a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).
|Norm Stamper, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition: "It's a win for police"|
"There are people who have lost today: drug cartels, street gangs, those who profit from keeping American incarceration rates the highest in the world," Stamper said. "For the rest of us, however, this is a win. It's a win for taxpayers. It's a win for police. It's a win for all those who care about social justice. This is indeed a wonderful day."
Reformers are now focused on successfully implementing the new marijuana legalization laws in Colorado and Washington, and on determining which states are most likely to enact legalization in the near future.
"Because of the victories in all of these places, we awakened this morning in a slightly better country," said Neill Franklin, Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and 34-year veteran of the Baltimore and Maryland State police departments. "It's a little safer, a little bit more just. And when the rest of the country follows the lead pioneered by the voters of Colorado and Washington, we'll be closer to living in a country with a drug policy that is truly about public safety."
Following is a list of all marijuana reform measures on the ballot across the country:
Colorado: Marijuana legalization - Passed!
Washington: Marijuana legalization - Passed!
Oregon: Marijuana legalization - Failed.
Massachusetts: Medical marijuana - Passed!
Arkansas: Medical marijuana - Failed, but the close 51-49 margin is encouraging.
Montana: Referendum restricting medical marijuana likely to pass.
Detroit, MI: Decriminalization of adult marijuana possession - Passed!
Flint, MI: Decriminalization of adult marijuana possession - Passed!
Ypsilanti, MI: Marijuana to be lowest law enforcement priority - Passed!
Grand Rapids, MI: Decriminalization of adult marijuana possession - Passed!
Kalamazoo, MI: Three medical marijuana dispensaries permitted in city - Passed!
Burlington, VT: Recommendation that marijuana should be legalized - Passed!