New Governor of Pennsylvania Supports Sensible Marijuana Policy Reform

Democrat Tom Wolf will be the new governor of Pennsylvania after defeating Republican Gov. Tom Corbett Tuesday night.

Tom Wolf

In the months leading up to the vote, polls showed Wolf to be up by double digits against Corbett. After all the ballots were counted, Wolf emerged the victor, 55-45.

Wolf’s victory may now determine the fate of marijuana policy in the state of Pennsylvania. Mr. Wolf supports allowing medical access to marijuana for patients with debilitating conditions whose physicians recommend it. He is also in favor of reducing the criminal penalties associated with the possession of small amounts of marijuana to civil penalties.

“Decriminalization would stop destruction of families and lives; stop overcrowding in prison; stop distortion of our economy,” he said in a PennLive interview, noting that decriminalization would extend job opportunities to people denied employment because of prior convictions.

On medical marijuana “what is motivating me is people I know with children with diseases that could be treated with medical marijuana. My goal is to create a system where they don’t feel like they need to go to another state to make their child whole,” he said.

Now that Wolf is governor, there are high hopes that medical marijuana, as well as the decriminalization of marijuana, will be implemented statewide.

Marijuana is Now Legal in Alaska, Oregon, South Portland, Maine, and the Nation’s Capital

Voters in two states, the fourth largest city in Maine, and the nation’s capital approved ballot measures to end marijuana prohibition and implement more sensible marijuana policies, capping off a historic election year for marijuana policy reform.

Alaska and Oregon are now the third and fourth states to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol, following Colorado and Washington. As of early this morning, Oregon’s Measure 91 led 54-46 with 75% of the votes counted. Alaska’s Ballot Measure 2 led 52-48 with 97% of the state’s precincts reporting.

Voters in South Portland, Maine approved Question 2 52-48 as well, making it the second East Coast city to make marijuana legal for adult use at the local level. A similar ballot measure in Lewiston, Maine came in close; it received 45% of the vote and did not pass.

In Washington, D.C., voters approved Initiative 71 by an overwhelming margin of 65-28, removing all penalties for the possession and home cultivation of limited amounts of marijuana by adults.

Moreover, an overwhelming majority of Florida voters — 58% — approved Amendment 2, which would have allowed patients with serious and debilitating conditions access to medical marijuana upon a physician’s recommendation. Unfortunately, the measure failed to pass because Florida state law requires 60% support for approval.

Nonetheless, yesterday’s historic election was largely successful and demonstrated that American citizens are ready to end marijuana prohibition in the country for good.

We will update the details of election results if new data becomes available.

D.C. Voters Legalize Marijuana For Adults 21 and Older!

By an overwhelming margin, D.C. voters approved Initiative 71, which will allow adults 21 and older to use, possess, and grow limited amounts of marijuana! The new law, which will not take effect until after it successfully clears a 30-day Congressional review period, legalizes limited possession and cultivation of marijuana by those 21 and older under D.C. law. Check out our summary here. Please note that it does nothing to change federal law, under which marijuana is still strictly prohibited.

So much gratitude is owed to the folks at the Yes on 71 campaign who worked tirelessly to get this initiative on the ballot and to ensure its success. Adam Eidinger, Nikolas Schiller, and their entire staff and volunteers, along with Dr. Malik Burnett and his colleagues from the Drug Policy Alliance, ran a smooth campaign focusing on the injustice of marijuana prohibition that clearly resonated with D.C. voters.

While there is much cause for celebration, passage of I-71 is just the first step. The law does not become operational unless and until it clears a 30-day Congressional review. This should happen sometime in February or March of 2015. In addition, the initiative does not create a legal, regulated market for marijuana. Please encourage your councilmembers to create such a system.

Thanks again to everyone who worked on this historic effort, and please make sure your friends and family in D.C. have heard the news!

Medical Marijuana Measure Wins in Guam

More than 56 percent of voters approved the medical marijuana measure in Guam, according to the unofficial results reported by Guam Pacific Daily News.

The medical marijuana measure — Proposal 14A — will allow patients with debilitating medical conditions to obtain the substance from regulated medical marijuana providers. With more than 56 percent of voters supporting the medical marijuana measure, the government will now be required to draft the rules and regulations for dispensing and using the substance.

This appears to be the first victory among all of the different marijuana policy ballot measures being considered today. For those looking to end marijuana prohibition and implement sensible marijuana policies within the U.S. and its territories, it looks like we are off to a good start! Please follow the example of Guam by going out to vote today. Encourage neighbors, friends, and relatives to do the same!

Today is Election Day!

Today, states, cities, and the nation’s capital will be voting on marijuana policy ballot measures.

Alaska and Oregon are considering statewide ballot measures that would make marijuana legal for adults and regulate it similarly to alcohol. If Ballot Measure 2 in Alaska and Measure 91 in Oregon are approved, Alaska and Oregon would be the third and fourth states in the U.S. to end marijuana prohibition.

In Washington D.C., voters are considering Initiative 71, which would make possession of up to two ounces of marijuana legal for adults 21 and older, as well as allow adults to cultivate up to six plants in their homes. Two of Maine’s largest cities — Lewiston and South Portland — are also considering citywide ballot measures that would make marijuana legal for adults.

In addition, Florida could become the 24th state to allow people with debilitating illnesses and conditions to access marijuana upon a physician’s recommendation, if voters pass Amendment 2.

Smaller local marijuana policy initiatives and ballot questions are also being considered in many cities across the country.

Needless to say, today is a very important! Please go out and vote to help end marijuana prohibition and implement sensible marijuana policies around the nation. Encourage neighbors, friends, and relatives to do the same! For more Election Day information, please visit headcount.org.

Marijuana Policy Project