Compared to 2016, when Donald Trump won an upset presidential victory, four states voted to legalize the adult use of cannabis, and four more legalized medical use, 2017’s election season promises to be a much quieter affair.
In fact, this year’s most cannabis-relevant race may be the New Jersey governor’s race, which is notable for who isn’t running. That would be Gov. Chris Christie, the outspoken cannabis prohibitionist. The end of the Christie era could open the door for adult-use legalization via the state Legislature, which has been readying a measure for much of the past year.
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Otherwise, most of this year’s cannabis-related politicking involves laying the groundwork for 2018, when at least a half-dozen medical and adult-use measures may go up for a vote.
As the season opens, here are the most interesting races so far:
Ballot Initiatives Florida
Regulate Florida is circulating petitions to put an adult-use measure on the 2018 ballot. If successful, this measure would amend Florida’s constitution to end cannabis prohibition.
“Florida citizens have no other method for changing the laws besides a constitutional amendment,” Karen Seeb Goldstein, director of NORML Florida, told Leafly.
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“This petition is partially a reaction to the poor implementation of Amendment 2 [a 2016 measure to legalize medical cannabis], but there’s more to it than that. The war on drugs is a failure. Prohibition just doesn’t work.”
A Quinnipiac poll taken last spring found that 56% of voters support legalizing recreational cannabis.
The Michigan Regulation & Taxation of Marijuana Law is spearheaded by the Michigan Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol (CRMLA).
“We surpassed the 200,000-signature mark last week, and,