Other than illustrating the weakness of the Democrats, the midterms this year proved something extremely positive: the majority of Americans support marijuana legalization. In fact, they supported it more than they did any politicians who shared the ballot with marijuana.
Marijuana was on the ballot in three states and Washington D.C. Interestingly, the voters in Oregon, Alaska, Washington D.C., and even Florida, which failed to pass a medical marijuana amendment, enjoyed more than 50 percent of voter support, reported Vox.
The inability to pass Amendment 2 was one of Florida’s biggest recent failures at progression. However, the way in which the state failed also accentuates a certain success for medical marijuana support. Amendment 2 only received 57.62 percent of the required 60 percent supermajority needed to pass. That percentage vastly outpaces the amount of votes that reelected that criminal Gov. Rick Scott, who received little over 48 percent of the vote.
Medical marijuana in Florida lost. Had it not been for needing 60 percent, it would have led the states of Alaska and Oregon in support. Floridians can pretty much blame that on the elderly voters who were manipulated by right-wing conservative scare tactics about marijuana.
Both Alaska and Oregon passed initiatives to legalize recreational marijuana. Oregon voters approved Measure 91, legalizing recreational marijuana with 55.9 percent voter support, barely making it the most-supported option on the state’s ballot. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) came in a close second, winning 55.7 percent of voter support.
The story is the same in Alaska where Measure 2 won 52.34 percent of the vote and was also the most-favored ballot option this year.
Though not technically a state, marijuana legalization in Washington D.C. received landslide numbers in November 4. Initiative 71, as it was called, won 64.69 percent of the votes while newly-elected Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser took 53.96 percent of the votes.
While the Republicans may seem like the champions of the 2014 midterm elections, it was really marijuana and marijuana advocates that are the real champions. Perhaps the biggest step forward for marijuana reform in America rests in the legalization win in Washington D.C. That will allow politicians to see legalization in action which will hopefully prompt a federal reform in marijuana regulation.
“The results are particularly encouraging since voter turnout during a midterm election is typically smaller, older, and more conservative,” executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project Rob Kampia told VICE. “Clearly, support for ending marijuana prohibition spans the political and ideological spectrums.”
Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.