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Election 2014 is finally over, and it looks like marijuana won pretty big at the polls! Although the medical marijuana proposal, Amendment 2, was defeated in Florida, almost every other ballot initiative related to cannabis passed.
After a long night of tallying, the results from Alaska are mostly in, and the experts are calling it: Ballot Measure 2, the marijuana legalization ballot initiative, has passed. That makes Alaska the fourth state to legalize cannabis.
Congratulations are also in order to the state of Oregon, where voters also passed a marijuana legalization law, Measure 91, making them the third state to end marijuana prohibition earlier last night.
Oregon’s new law allows for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and the legal sale of up to one ounce of marijuana as well. Home cultivation of up to four plants (or eight ounces of flower) is also legal under the new law.
In Alaska, there will be a 90-day lag period after the results of the election are certified. That means that in early 2015, retail sales of recreational cannabis may be legal (if the state has the regulatory framework ready). There will be a sales tax of $50 per ounce on wholesale marijuana sales in Alaska.
For those who haven’t already read the coverage, marijuana initiatives also passed in Guam, Washington DC, and many cities (including at least half of the eleven municipalities considering decriminalization in Michigan and South Portland, Maine but not Lewiston, Maine).
Additionally, in California, Proposition 47 passed in what many are calling a serious blow to the war on drugs and the prison-industrial complex. Certain non-violent felonies (mostly petty theft and drug crimes) will be changed to misdemeanors, and those incarcerated for these offenses can petition for early release from prison, even those locked up under “three strikes” provisions.
Ladybud is thankful for all the activists who worked to write these measures, get them on the ballots, and inspire the voters to turn out and support them. These elections mark a clear cultural tipping point; bring on Election Season 2016!
For previous Ladybud Magazine coverage of political issues, click here.
Photo Credit: Carlos Delgado under (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons