News » Push For Legalization In 2012 Already Starting In Several States
November 11, 2010 by justin
With the 2010 midterm elections barely passed, and with it the defeat of several marijuana initiatives country-wide, advocates of legalization have already begun organizing for 2012. It is widely believed that the voter turnout was largely older and more conservative, driven to the polls by the still weak economy. On the other hand, the Yes on 19 campaign in California noted that the initiative received more votes than any previous legalization attempt, despite falling about 9% short of the majority it needed to pass.
With a younger more progressive population expected to cast their ballot in 2012, the backers of Proposition 19 immediately made it known that they intended to try again. While defeated, the group was encouraged by the results of their efforts having collected 3,392,438 votes – more than Republican Meg Whitman received despite spending over $160 million on her campaign. Richard Lee, the president of Oaksterdam University who contributed the majority of Prop 19′s funding with $1.5 million of his own money, said that while they were not successful, the issue is now being taken seriously by the American public, not just in California. With the lessons learning in this election – the measure was defeated in the so called “Green Triangle” of Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties, where much of the state’s marijuana is currently grown and residents fear the government will undermine the industry they have built, and Los Angeles, which is publically thought to have mismanaged its medical marijuana dispensaries – there is confidence that they can be addressed and a stronger proposition can be submitted in 2012.
Groups in Colorado, which already has a strong medical marijuana community, have also indicated that they intend to try and get legalization initiatives in front of voters. Mason Tvert, the director of SAFER, said “California started the race toward legalization but Colorado is going to finish it” while announcing a partnership with Sensible Colorado to begin work on the 2012 efforts. The previous attempt in 2006 was defeated 59% to 41%, however opinions towards marijuana in the state have changed dramatically there, as evidenced by the number of medical dispensaries in the state.
Even in states where legalization was not on the ballot, several local ballots included advisory questions to gauge vote support for legalization. In Massachuesetts public sentiments were even more pro legalization than expected. This support is especially strong amongst younger voters, where the results showed that 69% of voters under 30 supported full legalization. Overall support was similar to the results in California with 44% of the electorate saying “yes”, however in some cities such as Newton, Brookline and Wellesley, 68% of the population was in favor of ending prohibition.
Other states that are expected to push legalization in 2012 are Oregon, Washington, and Alaska.
Tags: Alaska, California, Colorado, election, Green Triangle, legalization, marijuana, Mason Tvert, Massachusets, Oaksterdam, Oregon, pot, Prop 19, Proposition 19, Richard Lee, SAFER, Sensible Colorado, WashingtonNext: Dutch Marijuana Cafes Could Close To Foreigners
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