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Certain issues drive people to the polls. They cause such a strong feeling, be it positive or negative, that people feel compelled to get out and vote. Different states and eras have had different issues on the ballot that influenced the overall voter turnout. Sometimes, however, you can see a broader trend on an issue. Right now, it’s looking like cannabis could make a major impact in some states during this upcoming election.
Cannabis issues will dominate in some states, helping to bring more voters to the polls. Michigan is one state with a powerful drive toward legalization, as well as an ongoing pushback from both law enforcement and existing government officials. In fact, one of the state’s candidates for governor, Bill Schuette, has made a name for himself as a fully anti-cannabis (including medical cannabis) official. Under Schuette as Attorney General, the state of Michigan has forcibly closed dispensaries and arrested grandmothers with debilitating conditions.
Hopefully, the combination of a legalization measure on the ballot and Schuette’s corrupt and embarrassing track record as AG will motivate voters to legalize and keep him far away from another position of power.
Michigan isn’t the only state where voters will get to decide on adult recreational cannabis. North Dakota also has a bill on the ballot, although state lawmakers in North Dakota are already doing everything in their power to suppress voters, especially Native American voters and homeless voters.
Believe it or not, conservative Missouri has not one but three initiatives on the ballot for medical marijuana, while Utah has one. It is possible that there will soon be 10 or even 11 states with adult recreational access, while the majority of states with medical cannabis laws could also increase after election day.
If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to register to vote. Even if you can’t vote on a cannabis law in your state, you can still vote in compassionate, practical leaders who will help dismantle the War on Drugs and end cannabis prohibition.