In passing laws to legalize small amounts of marijuana and regulate the industry in Washington and Colorado, supporters joined many local jurisdictions that have decriminalized some drug offenses in signaling their willingness to better tailor drug policy to public health and safety goals. Since the passage of the ballot initiatives, prominent leaders including Senate Judiciary Chair Patrick Leahy , former President Bill Clinton and President Obama have hinted that they will reconsider harsh criminal drug policy that has cost the U.S. both money and lives while failing to curb drug abuse.
2. New fuel efficiency standards.
In August 2012, the Obama administration issued new miles-per-gallon rules on car manufacturers, mandating that Detroit nearly double fuel efficiency standards by 2025. These new rules helped save the auto industry , reduce oil use and carbon emissions , and push the auto-industry towards a more climate-friendly stance .
3. Young undocumented immigrants received deportation relief.
In June, President Obama announced a new immigration policy that allows some undocumented students to avoid deportation and receive work authorization when they apply for deferred action. Up to 1 million young undocumented immigrants could legally stay in the U.S. because of it.
4. Anti-LGBT Senate candidates lost, in large numbers.
Ten of the ThinkProgress Anti-LGBT Dirty Dozen Senate candidates were defeated in November.