2014 is going to be a big year for marijuana reform at the ballot box. Many national organizations were telling activists to hold off til 2016 because it’s a presidential election year. But that hasn’t stopped some of those same organizations, or activists, from successfully getting marijuana reform efforts on the 2014 ballot. Oregon, Alaska, Washington D.C., and many cities in Michigan are voting on marijuana legalization. Maine already had two communities voting on marijuana legalization in November, and just added a third. Per MPBN News:
As of today, the town of York will put marijuana legalization on the ballot this November. The Marijuana Policy Project submitted more than 900 signatures to town officials this afternoon, more than enough needed to qualify for a citizen initiative. It’s the third municipality in Maine to send the issue to voters, which is a growing concern for opponents.
It was just last year that Portland legalized recreational marijuana. David Boyer of the Marijuana Policy Project hopes Lewiston, South Portland, and York will follow suit this year. Boyer says the Marijuana Policy Project targeted York in particular because of what he describes as aggressive police enforcement of marijuana laws.
I’m glad that multiple states and numerous cities are voting on marijuana legalization in 2014. Is 2016 better from a political strategy standpoint? Of course. However, if we can win in 2014, it would save a lot of taxpayer dollars and would save many lives from being ruined during that two year span between the 2014 and 2016 elections. Polling looks good in just about all of the races, with the exception of Alaska. But it’s worth noting that polling in Alaska is hard to do, and not always accurate.