Last night’s historic election was probably the biggest blow to progressives and those on the left since 1980 when Reagan was elected. There wasn’t much to like about the results as far as candidates go. In addition to Hillary Clinton losing the Presidential race by the narrowest of margins and Congressional control remaining in GOP hands, progressives are fearful over policy changes that may happen under President Trump.
There was some good news, however. If one goes under the referenda that were on the various state ballots, progressives did win on many causes, not the least of which was marijuana reform.
At least three states overwhelmingly voted to legalize marijuana for adults 21 or over. Nevada, California, and Massachusetts all overwhelmingly voted in favor of the measure. Another state, Maine looks optimistic to win as the ‘yes’ vote maintains a narrow lead with over 90 percent of precincts reporting.
California, in particular, is said to be a huge victory for marijuana reform since the state is in itself a huge economy and houses about 12 percent of our entire population.
The Washington Post described people being ‘jubilant’ over the victory;
“This represents a monumental victory for the marijuana reform movement,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, in a statement. “With California’s leadership now, the end of marijuana prohibition nationally, and even internationally, is fast approaching.”
In addition to those wins, marijuana recommended by a doctor for medicinal purposes was approved in three more states — Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota. The victories in the latter two states came as a little more of a surprise considering how ‘red’ they tend to be. Also, no polling was done prior to the election in North Dakota, so the result was a mystery to everyone until it actually came in.
The most significant thing about the Florida win was that the measure passed with an unheard of 71 percent majority. A similar measure a few years ago failed when it fell short of the 60 percent threshold it needed to pass. This result will leave no question on where Floridians stand on the issue.
One more state, Montana, voted to roll back restrictions on medical marijuana that a majority of voters agreed were too restrictive.
While the victories are significant, the questions surrounding the incoming Trump administration leave open the questions surrounding marijuana and the federal government. In a recent interview with Bill Maher, President Obama said the passage of marijuana reform in the states may make the fed’s current position ‘untenable.’
Check out the video below for more fun facts about Cannabis;
Marijuana reform wasn’t the only winner for progressives this election cycle. States also voted to raise the minimum wage, be more environmentally conscious and crack down on sexually exploitive crimes on various ballot measures across the country. Regardless of which party won the Presidency, it is clear that many, even a majority of Americans do support progress and progressive causes. It will be interesting to see how the ‘clashing factions’ work together and find common ground in the years to come.
featured image via herb.co