Marijuana Backers Plot Ambitious Campaign
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Marijuana Backers Plot Ambitious Campaign
Posted by CN Staff on November 14, 2018 at 20:05:01 PT
By Reid Wilson
Source: Hill
USA -- Advocates of legalizing medical and recreational marijuana are planning a wave of new ballot measures in coming years few years, buoyed by wins scored this year's midterm elections in swing and conservative states.Supporters say they are likely to field measures in states like Ohio and Arizona in 2020, and potentially in Florida and North Dakota. They say plans are underway for initiatives to legalize medical marijuana in Mississippi, Nebraska and South Dakota.
“2020 provides an opportunity to run medical marijuana and legalization campaigns across the country. Typically, presidential elections offer better turnout and a more supportive electorate,” said Matt Schweich, deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “I’d be surprised if there weren’t a large number of initiatives being run — statutory, constitutional, legalization, medical marijuana. It’s going to be a big opportunity for our movement to build momentum.”Voters in Michigan this year approved Proposal 1, which would set up a regulatory framework for recreational marijuana sales and use. Michigan is the ninth state to allow recreational use, and the only state outside the West and the Northeast where recreational use will be legal.In Missouri and Utah, voters last Tuesday approved new measures allowing medical marijuana. Oklahoma voters approved their own medical marijuana measure earlier this year. Thirty-three states allow medical marijuana use.“We won our first state outside of the coasts, and I think there’s a strong feeling that we’re sort of on the downhill of the tipping point,” said one strategist who has worked on legalization measures, who asked for anonymity to describe future plans.Voters in North Dakota rejected a ballot measure that would have allowed recreational marijuana use. North Dakota became the third state in recent years, after Arizona and Ohio, to reject recreational use.The strategist said legalization backers have settled on a reliable formula that has generated success at the ballot box. The template includes language allowing adults to grow a small number of marijuana plants in their own home, banning advertising aimed at children and controlling potency of products like edibles that make it to market.The measures in North Dakota and Ohio did not closely follow that template; the Ohio measure, which did not earn support from the largest groups that back legalization campaigns, went so far as to parade a marijuana leaf mascot — named Bud — around campaign events before it went down in a crushing defeat.Opponents of marijuana legalization said they have turned their focus to another provision typically found in successful ballot measures, one that allows counties and municipalities to ban pot shops even if recreational marijuana is legal statewide.“In all states with legalization, the majority of towns and cities that have voted have banned pot shops,” said Kevin Sabet, who heads the drug policy group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, which opposes legalization. “We … think we can get a majority of counties to opt out of pot shops in Michigan.”A Pew Research Center survey conducted in October showed 62 percent favor legalization — including majorities among Millennials, members of Generation X and the Baby Boomer generation.Drug legalization is one of the few issues where men take a more liberal stand than women. The Pew Research survey showed 68 percent of men, and just 56 percent of women, support legal pot.The Utah measure that passed this year is especially notable, Schweich said, because the Republican-dominated state legislature is now likely to take up its own medical marijuana measure. That measure will likely be more conservative than the ballot proposition voters approved, but it will still mark the first time a conservative legislature has approved marijuana use.“You’re going to see a very conservative state adopt, via its legislature, a medical marijuana law,” he said. “We’ve really showed that any state, no matter how socially conservative it might be, can have medical marijuana.”The legislative action in Utah is a prelude of what marijuana legalization backers hope becomes the next front in their fight. Not every state allows citizens to change laws via ballot measure; in some states, any change will be up to the legislature.Two Democratic governors have indicated they would support legalization if the legislature forwards a bill to their desks. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) ran into opposition from some Democratic legislators during his first session in office but Illinois Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker (D) has said he supports legalization.“We’re going to run out of ballot initiative states. The wins on the ballot initiative front really increase our momentum with legislative work,” Schweich said.States where medical marijuana is already legal, but where recreational use is still prohibited, are likely to be targets of those legislative pushes. Twenty states allow medical, but not recreational, use.“The template is, get medical passed first, and then pass recreational,” the pro-pot strategist said.Source: Hill, The (US DC)Author: Reid WilsonPublished: November 14, 2018Copyright: 2018 The HillContact: editor thehill.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #4 posted by John Tyler on November 16, 2018 at 07:54:37 PT
tables have turned
People do not believe in the “cannabis boogey man” anymore. Cannabis is a wonderful plant as history, experience, and science has shown. Even anti-cannabis politicians are changing their minds as tax revenues are looking better and better. The tables have turned. In the olden days economic interest conspired to ban cannabis for their own reasons, now the majority of economic interests are in favor of a cannabis industry. 
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on November 15, 2018 at 10:01:20 PT
local bans
as I've told many people around here - don't worry about local bans. As I recall, within 1 year of Colorado passing medical MJ and dispensaries, something like 2/3rds of towns in Colorado banned retail. Also within a year there were 900 retail outlets operating within the state, and legalization happened a few years later. We only need about 5% of municipalities to allow sales, the rest will soon follow as the tax money flows. Here in Mass. many towns passed 1-year moratoriums on retail, and then turned into eager adopters of stores later when the local politicians did some research into tax revenue. They changed their tune pretty quickly at that point! My town initially banned retail for a year, now we're going to have some of the very first stores in the state and they've been zoned into all the usuall business districts.
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on November 15, 2018 at 09:56:58 PT
geographically challenged
“We won our first state outside of the coasts, and I think there’s a strong feeling that we’re sort of on the downhill of the tipping point,” said one strategist who has worked on legalization measures, who asked for anonymity to describe future plans.uh....Colorado? Vermont? Nevada. Last time I checked they weren't on the coast? I can see why he wants to remain resentment of Kevin Sabet is fading - at this point he's basically a political con-man playing on the earnest intentions of well-meaning Prohibitionists. They're giving him and SAM millions of dollars which are, for the most part, utterly wasted.For example Sheldon Adelson spent $1 million to stop legalization here, and failed miserably.  Sabet tells these older rich folks what they want to hear and then takes their money and pretty much flushes it down the toilet.  It's like a right-wing population sink!  Paying SAM is like enrolling in Trump University for a degree. 
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Comment #1 posted by afterburner on November 15, 2018 at 09:05:23 PT
Kevin Sabet - Assassin of Legalization
Michigan passes cannabis legalization by Voter Initiative Proposal #1. Now, Kevin Sabet aims to derail the will of the people and the will of God by encouraging mutiny at the county level.See you at the next Hash Bash, eh Kev?
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