Although marijuana supporters suffered last minute anxiety over the strength of the initiatives to legalize the leaf across the United States, by the time the curtain closed on the 2014 midterm election, it was one of the most successful campaigns in the history of American pot reform.
Voters in Alaska, Oregon and prohibition headquarters in Washington DC legalized recreational marijuana on Tuesday, while the only disappointment for the movement took place in Florida after Amendment 2 fell three points shy of earning 60 percent of the votes. Yet, pot proponents in the Sunshine State stand proud in the shadows of victory, as the initiative did receive majority support — 57 percent.
The outcome of the midterm election, however, remains bittersweet, as the Republican Party swooped in and dominated control of the US Senate for the first time in almost a decade… funerals for Democrats were plenty. Yet, the overall results have brought forth so much excitement and encouragement for marijuana activists that not even the threat of elephant-eared politics can deter the launch of a full-blown attack against prohibition in 2016. Already, California, Massachusetts and Maine are all expected to spearhead fierce campaigns to legalize recreational marijuana in the next presidential election.
Yet, while the opposition is recovering from severe voter beat down in two states and the nation’s capital, Kevin Sabet, the wild-eyed prohibitionist with a bizarre, seemingly personal vendetta against the stoner nation, claims that his organization, Smart Approaches to Marijuana, intends to unleash a financial arsenal to ensure pot reform does not thrive in the next election. “This is going to make our side redouble our efforts to find donors who can put forth real money,” Sabet told CBS News.
The Land of the Free is now home to four states — Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska – where a recreational marijuana market is currently underway or soon in the process of being established. In addition, recreational cannabis is now legal in Washington DC, but without the presence of a retail market. However, the DC Council met last week to discuss a proposal to allow marijuana sales in the event that voters approved Initiative 71.
If the aftermath of the midterm election has showed us anything, it is that the future is bright for the reform of marijuana laws in the United States.