Election May Be Turning Point for Legal Marijuana
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Election May Be Turning Point for Legal Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on October 24, 2016 at 10:05:32 PT
By Thomas Fuller
Source: New York Times
San Francisco -- To the red-and-blue map of American politics, it may be time to add green. The movement to legalize marijuana, the country’s most popular illicit drug, will take a giant leap on Election Day if California and four other states vote to allow recreational cannabis, as polls suggest they may.The map of where pot is legal could include the entire West Coast of the United States and a string of states reaching from the Pacific Ocean to Colorado, raising a stronger challenge to the federal government’s ban on the drug.
In addition to California, Massachusetts and Maine both have legalization initiatives on the ballot next month that seem likely to pass. Arizona and Nevada are also voting on recreational marijuana, with polls showing Nevada voters evenly split.The passage of recreational marijuana laws in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington over the last four years partly unlocked the door toward eventual federal legalization. But a yes vote in California, which has an economy the size of a large industrial country’s, could blow the door open, experts say.“If we’re successful, it’s the beginning of the end of the war on marijuana,” said Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor of California and a former mayor of San Francisco. “If California moves, it will put more pressure on Mexico and Latin America writ large to reignite a debate on legalization there.”The market for both recreational and medicinal marijuana is projected to grow to $22 billion in four years from $7 billion this year if California says yes, according to projections by the ArcView Group, a company that links investors with cannabis companies.“This is the vote heard round the world,” said ArcView’s chief executive, Tony Drayton. “What we’ve seen before has been tiny compared to what we are going to see in California.”And yet scholars who have studied these legalization measures say that to a large extent they are very much a shot in the dark, a vast public health experiment that could involve states that hold 23 percent of the United States population — and generate a quarter of the country’s economic output — carried out with relatively little scientific research on the risks. In addition, there are 25 states that already permit medical marijuana.To hear proponents of legalization in California tell it, a yes vote here would allow the same benefits seen in Colorado — a sharp reduction in drug arrests and a large increase in tax collection — but on a scale many times larger.After years of resistance, proponents say their long-sought goal is finally within reach.“My ultimate objective is to get this plant into the hands of every single human being on the planet who needs it — and in my view that’s everybody,” said Steve DeAngelo, the founder of Harborside, a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland that bustles with clients taking advantage of a medical marijuana law that has been in place for two decades.“It’s almost a religious spiritual thing,” Mr. DeAngelo said. “Mother Nature gave us this healing plant.”Source: New York Times (NY) Author: Thomas Fuller Published: October 24, 2016Copyright: 2016 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on October 24, 2016 at 16:26:53 PT
The turning point has been passed.
I believe We've already passed the turning point. Now it's a matter of completing the good works.The nightmare isn't over but it has been exposed, people are waking up, cannabis prohibitionists are likened to the bad people. Time is the issue but We're over that hump.The next election day could stretch the rubber band to the breaking point. -I expect that...
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on October 24, 2016 at 10:17:12 PT
little scientific research
There are 23,000 peer-reviewed, published medical studies currently available online at
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