Supporters of reforming the nation’s marijuana laws enjoyed a successful campaign season, seeing several of their initiatives win in various states.
The most noteworthy victory came in Massachusetts, where 65 percent of voters supported decriminalizing less than one ounce of marijuana. Also at the state level, 63 percent of Michigan voters supported legalizing medical marijuana. Massachusetts is now the thirteenth state to decriminalize marijuana, while Michigan is the thirteenth state to allow medical marijuana.
"The people were ahead of the politicians on this issue. They recognize and want a more sensible approach to our marijuana policy," Whitney Taylor, chairwoman of the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy, told the Boston Globe.
Some local marijuana initiatives also enjoyed success on election night. Fayetteville, Arkansas and Hawaii County both voted to instruct local law enforcement to make crimes involving possession of less than one ounce of marijuana their lowest priority. Four state legislative districts in Massachusetts also voted to instruct their representatives to vote in favor of medical marijuana legislation.
The primary setback for supporters of drug law reform was in California, where a measure to decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana fell by a 60-40 percent margin.