Two states plus Washington D.C. can follow in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington state by voting in favor of fully legalizing marijuana with ballot initiatives, this mid-term election cycle.
The states that have decided to have their electorate vote on ballot measures
this time around are: Alaska, Oregon, and Florida. Technically in Florida they are just now voting on medical marijuana legalization. But Alaska and Oregon will be running full ballot measures that will determine if the United States has just 2 legal states for marijuana consumption, or 4.
What are the chances for either state, you might be wondering? Well, in Alaska, minimal reliable polling as taken place, so it truly is a toss-up chance for the vote to go either way. The only data that has come out on the issue shows Alaska likely not in favor of legalization. However, that preliminary polling data has been provided by the very opposition groups against the initiative in the first place, so they are hard to trust, at all. Alaska very likely can and likely will vote to legalize marijuana. And when their polls close on November the 5th at 1AM EST, it's no doubt everyone will be looking at the results with much anticipation. Or if you demonize the plant, fear.
Then there is Oregon. Sister state to Washington. A trendsetter in forward thinking, and living life a little differently and a little more progressively (arguably) than anywhere else in the country, just in their own way. .. What I mean is that Oregon is unique, and they know it. Therefore, its of high likelihood that this state will pass in favor of legalization. Oregon knows the boost to the economy that marijuana can provide them, and many in the state cannot wait to vote YES on this ballot initiative. Polling on all sides show this vote will come down to the wire. So, the eyes of the country will be paying very close attention to the final count after polling closes in this state, at 11PM EST on November the 4th.
Lastly, we have Washington D.C. Polling shows that people in D.C. are likely to vote overwhelmingly in favor of full legalization, by almost 2-1
. But there is a greater problem with this vote: Even if the district citizens vote YES in droves, Congress can still step in and override them eventually, as they are not a state. Not to mention, it will make many on Capitol Hill feel quite silly that something the United States Congress and government labels as a Schedule I drug (meaning zero redeeming qualities; nothing but bad for society at large, in a category with the worst of the worst of drugs) that this substance will be fully legal and heartily consumed in the very district that houses the staunch law institutions that are nationally against marijuana across the board.
I don't think Capitol Hill will be able to stomach the hypocrisy. Something will have to give. Either someone like Representative Andy Harris, a Republican from Maryland, can push Congress to shoot the vote down
(either through the normal authorization process or through appropriations if necessary) OR Congress will have to wise up and remove marijuana from such a wrongly labeled Schedule classification. Either way, keep an eye on Washington D.C. with this ballot vote; things will become very interesting indeed on the whole marijuana legalization process this mid-term election cycle. And Washington D.C. of all places could be THE place that sets the tone for the next several decades, depending upon how the government reacts.
A great resource to follow any and all ballot measures for this 2014 mid-term election cycle, as the results come in:
Politico's 2014 Ballot Measures Election Results