Election results put legalization on the agenda for 2019
Last week, New Hampshire voters sent a strong message to Gov. Chris Sununu and the political establishment: it’s time to end marijuana prohibition! Although Sununu (a prohibitionist) won re-election, his margin of victory over legalization supporter Molly Kelly was smaller than anticipated. Most importantly, the Democratic party — which added support for legalization to its platform earlier this year — gained control of both chambers of the legislature.
The Senate, in particular, promises to be much less hostile to reform advocates in 2019. To illustrate, here are a few senators who were voted out last week:
• Sen. Gary Daniels (R-Milford) voted no on all cannabis reform bills throughout his time in the House and Senate. Voters replaced him with Rep. Shannon Chandley (D-Amherst), who has been much more reasonable on cannabis policy as a member of the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.
• Sen. Kevin Avard (R-Nashua) voted against a 2018 bill that would have allowed registered patients to cultivate their own limited supply of cannabis. Voters replaced him with a legalization supporter, former Rep. Melanie Levesque (D-Brookline).
• Sen. Bill Gannon (R-Sandown) strongly opposed all sensible marijuana policy reforms throughout his time in the House and Senate. This was supposed to be a safe Republican district, but voters chose to replace Gannon with legalization supporter Jon Morgan (D-Brentwood).
The odds of passing a legalization bill improved significantly as a result of the election. However, in order to achieve victory in the House and Senate, we will need a robust effort to educate and persuade undecided legislators.
After the election, I published a commentary in the Union Leader, making the case that “cannabis is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and most residents of the ‘Live Free or Die’ state are ready to see it treated that way.”
Please help us get our 2019 campaign off to a great start by contributing to the Marijuana Policy Project today!
Then, please share this message with your family and friends!
Yesterday’s blue wave in Illinois poised to become a green wave next session
Gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker, who has been a vocal supporter of legalizing, taxing, and regulating cannabis for adults’ use, appears to have handily won yesterday’s gubernatorial election. While official election results are still pending, both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times reported a margin of victory of around 55% of the vote.
In the race for state attorney general, cannabis reform supporter Sen. Kwame Raoul also notched a win with around 54% of the vote. Both J.B. Pritzker and Kwame Raoul were rated A+ candidates by MPP leading up to the election for their strong positions in support of sensible marijuana policy.
And a hearty congratulations go out to friend-of-the-movement Bob Morgan, who won the 58th District seat in the Illinois House of Representatives! Morgan headed up the successful launch of the state’s medical cannabis program, and as a private attorney, Bob has continued to be engaged in cannabis reform. He is a welcome addition to the General Assembly.
Yesterday’s results come as Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Kelly Cassidy prepare to introduce a revised bill for the session starting in January that would legalize cannabis for adults in Illinois. This moment is a huge step toward the bill’s passage and an exciting moment for those who seek an end to cannabis prohibition in Illinois.
Another election, and another historic night for marijuana reform.
Michigan has passed legalization! MPP played a central role in this campaign from start to finish. From coordinating the initiative drafting to overseeing the production of TV ads, MPP staffers worked alongside a excellent campaign team for two years to make Michigan the first state in the Midwest to adopt legalization. This is a huge win that will maintain our momentum in Washington, D.C. to pass a landmark federal reform bill through Congress in the near future.
Utah passed medical marijuana! MPP led the drafting process and played an important supporting role throughout the campaign. We are so proud of the Utah Patients Coalition team on this historic win that will end the heartless policy of criminalizing patients. If we can pass medical marijuana in Utah, then we can pass it in any state in the country…and we will.
In Missouri, voters approved medical marijuana, and they chose the best of the three possible initiatives. We congratulate our allies in the marijuana reform movement for this important win that will help patients access the medicine they need.
Sadly, North Dakota did not pass its legalization initiative. In such a conservative state, it was always an uphill battle. The proponents ran a strong campaign, but in a midterm year, the electorate was always going to be a challenge. North Dakota passed medical marijuana in 2016. It’s only a matter of time before the state adopts legalization, either via ballot initiative or legislative action.
As a movement, we won three out of four states. And for MPP, we’ve now played a leading role in seven of the 10 states that have legalized marijuana for adults (Colorado, Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Vermont, and Michigan).
We couldn’t do this work without the support of voters, allies, activists, and donors. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who made these crucial victories last night possible.
In other great news, voters elected at least seven governors who support ending marijuana prohibition — Ned Lamont in Connecticut, JB Pritzker in Illinois, Michelle Lujan Grisham in New Mexico, Tim Walz in Minnesota, Gavin Newsom in California, Jared Polis in Colorado, and Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan. For more details, check out our elections page.
Have you voted yet? If not, look up your polling location and make a plan to get there before 7 p.m. when the polls close!
Voting is one of the most important tools we have to change marijuana laws. Sitting out an election is a great way to ensure that failed prohibitionist policies remain in place.
Today Missourians have an opportunity to vote on not one, but three different medical marijuana initiatives. MPP encourages voters to say “YES” on Amendment 2, because it will enshrine a sensible and compassionate medical marijuana program in the state constitution, making it harder for state politicians to undermine it later.
Today, be one of the millions of Americans voicing their support for humane and rational marijuana policies through the ballot box. Grab a few friends and get out there and VOTE!
Election Day is here. Have you voted yet?
If you haven’t, look up your polling location and go vote YES on Prop 2 right now!
Your vote matters! It’s important that Utah sends a message to the political establishment that there is strong support for a medical marijuana policy.
After you vote, if you’re near Salt Lake City, join the Utah Patients Coalition for their election night celebration! The event kicks off at 6:30 p.m. at the Infinity Event Center (26 East 600 South). You can register here with Facebook or here without it.
Patients and their families in Utah deserve a compassionate medical cannabis program. Please, don’t sit this one out. Go vote YES on Prop 2 and send the message that it’s time to move forward!
Election Day is finally here. For many months, the YES on 3 team has worked tirelessly to educate North Dakotans about the benefits of ending the wasteful and destructive policy of marijuana prohibition.
Now, all that’s left is to go out and VOTE! Look up polling locations here and set a time to go.
By passing Measure 3, North Dakota could send a powerful message about the strength of the legalization movement in this country. It all comes down to today. Be part of this historic reform effort and vote YES on Measure 3!
We’re eagerly waiting for the results to start coming in. Tonight could represent incredible progress for our movement. Go be part of it and vote!
Election Day is finally here. With the help of hundreds of volunteers and thousands of supporters across the state, the YES on 1 campaign has done all it can to educate the voters of Michigan about the benefits that Proposal 1 will bring to the state.
Now, all that’s left is to go out and VOTE! Find your polling location and set a time to go there today. Polls close at 8:00 pm ET tonight.
Having trouble finding your polling location? Please email us and we would be happy to help.
Michigan is poised to become the 10th state in the country to officially end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition. Be part of this historic reform effort and vote YES on Prop 1!
This has been a long campaign, stretching back for two years. Now is when we bring it over the finish line. VOTE TODAY!
Over the years, our movement has made significant progress through the ballot box. This year will be no different. Be part of the wave of change today and go vote!
Voters are weighing in on adult-use legalization initiatives in Michigan and North Dakota and medical marijuana measures in Utah and Missouri. Some residents of Ohio and Wisconsin, too, have a chance to voice their support for local measures ending punitive marijuana policies. Go here for information about this year’s ballot questions.
Voters in states without marijuana-related ballot initiatives can play a huge role in changing marijuana laws, too.Visit MPP’s website to find out where candidates stand on marijuana policy in every gubernatorial race, along with in-depth state legislative voter guides for nine states. Roughly half the country lacks a ballot initiative process. The only way we can change marijuana laws in those states is to support thoughtful elected officials and oppose those who aren’t.
If you haven’t voted yet, make a plan right now. Look up your polling location and set a time to go. Spread the word on social media and urge your friends to vote, too!
There’s too much at stake to sit it out.