AlterNet has a fantastic piece up by Paul Armentano of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws)on why this election year is going to be an exciting one for the cannabis reform movement nationwide. Remind you of something I said?
If present polls hold, federal officials on November 7 will have little choice but to acknowledge that they have a full fledged reefer rebellion on their hands.
Voters’ impending rejection of the drug war status quo shouldn’t come as a surprise, at least not to anyone who has been paying attention. Opinion polls over the past 12 months indicate record levels of public support for ending America’s multi-decade failed experiment with cannabis criminalization. Are a majority of Americans finally ready to voice their drug war dissent at the ballot box? In mere weeks, voters in six states will have the opportunity.
That’s right, 6 states. I only discussed the three legalization initiatives in my post yesterday, so I’ll use this post to bring up all the medical cannabis initiatives, which Paul did a fantastic job describing concisely.
First up is Arkansas, the first southern state to seriously consider medical cannabis:
Arkansas For the first time ever, voters in the southeastern United States will have the opportunity to strike a significant blow to decades of reefer madness. On November 6, Arkansas voters will take to the polls to decide on Issue 5: the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act. The Act eliminates statewide criminal and civil penalties regarding the physician-recommended use and possession of up to two and one-half ounces cannabis for patients diagnosed with various qualifying medical condition…
Next up, Massachusetts, which shouldn’t have a problem at all passing:
Massachusetts Medical marijuana is nothing new in New England. Laws allowing for the therapeutic use of cannabis already exist in Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont… So it should come as no surprise that voters are rallying behind Question 3: The Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Act. The measure eliminates statewide criminal and civil penalties related to the possession and use of up to a 60-day supply of cannabis by qualified patients with cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and a host of other ailments.
Montana On November 6, Montana voters will take to the polls to decide on Initiative Referendum 124 . A no vote on I-124 will repeal Senate Bill 423 and restore the state’s longstanding medical marijuana law. Radio advertisements sponsored by the group Patients for Reform, Not Repeal are now airing throughout the state and early polling indicates that they may be having an impact on voters. According to a mid-September survey of 656 likely voters, fewer than half back I-124 (which would keep SB 423 in effect) while 54 percent of voters either oppose it or are undecided.
Like Paul and I said, it’s a good year for cannabis reform. For more information on the initiatives I briefly discussed use the links below:
- Arkansas Medical Marijuana Question on Ballotpedia
- Arkansans for Compassionate Care
- Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Initiative (Question 3) on Ballotpedia
- [Massachusetts] Committee for Compassionate Medicine
- Montana Medical Marijuana Veto Referendum (IR-124) on Ballotpedia
- [Montana] Patients for Reform not Repeal