In addition to several marijuana initiatives (in Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota and Utah) on the Nov. 6 ballot, a number of races in the Senate and House could result in pro-pot candidates knocking off drug warriors. Here are 10 races to watch.
Beto O’Rourke is challenging incumbent right-winger Cruz. O’Rourke, who’s backed the legalization cause ever since he was on El Paso’s City Council, has repeatedly called for the end of “the U.S. government’s War on Drugs” and “the federal prohibition of marijuana.” An O’Rourke victory would help swing the Senate back to Democratic control. The congressman has the support of Willie Nelson, who he performed with on stage at the singer’s Fourth of July Picnic in Austin. It’s an expensive race with a total of $37 million ($23.7 million for O’Rourke) in the campaigns’ coffers. An Aug. 27 Emerson College poll called the race a “dead heat,” though most prognosticators say it’s “likely Republican.” In recent weeks, Cruz’s campaign has been pulling out all the stops, releasing O’Rourke’s mug shot from a 1998 DWI and longhaired photos from when he played bass in a punk-rock band.
2. Rep. Jared Polis (D)