Fri Nov 9, 2012, 07:36 PM
marmar (68,256 posts)
Public opinion on marijuana is moving fast, and pols will eventually follow. But "eventually" ......
What’s next for pot policy?
Public opinion on marijuana is moving fast, and pols will eventually follow. But "eventually" could be a while
By Mark A. R. Kleiman
The election results this week from Washington, Colorado, Massachusetts and Arkansas demonstrate that public opinion about cannabis has moved much faster than the positions of elected officials. That Massachusetts voters would pass a fairly loosely regulated medical marijuana system isn’t very surprising. But that voters in Arkansas came within a whisker of passing one shows that it isn’t just a hippie-dippie issue anymore. And for Colorado and Washington to take the plunge into full legalization – not just of use or for medical purposes, but full-scale commercial growing and sales – marks an epoch.
There are two “What next?” questions: What happens at the ballot box two or four years from now? And what happens in Colorado and Washington over the next year or two? Neither question has a clear answer, but the political developments may be easier to forecast than the operational ones.
It seems virtually certain that there will be more action at the ballot box. There are a few deep-pocketed national funders interested in financing these initiatives, but they’ve been cautious about investing in ill-written proposals such as California’s Proposition 19 two years ago or Oregon’s Measure 80 this year. This year’s victories are likely to make funding more available for carefully drafted measures in the future. Expect an initiative on the California ballot two years from now. But an off-year electorate, with fewer young voters than a presidential-year electorate, is likely to be less receptive to marijuana legalization.
Not every state has an initiative process, and so far the legislatures have been much less adventurous than the voters. If public opinion keeps moving, eventually the officials will follow. But how long “eventually” will be is anyone’s guess. .................(more)
The complete piece is at: http://www.salon.com/2012/11/09/whats_next_for_pot_policy/
1 replies, 486 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Public opinion on marijuana is moving fast, and pols will eventually follow. But "eventually" ...... (Original post)
Response to marmar (Original post)
Fri Nov 9, 2012, 07:50 PM
Floyd_Gondolli (1,277 posts)
1. I hope we are not disappointed
It's time for this prohibition to end. It costs local and state governments $10 billion a year prosecuting simple possession cases.
It also lands a disproportionate number of minorities in our prison system, and it makes criminals of people who are by any other definition not criminals.
We can quibble about some things but both of these new laws represent responsible attempts to end the prohibition. And it's also clear that by a considerable majority citizens in both these states want it to end. It's time for the federal government to get out of the way.