MSM Looks at Marijuana’s Political Future

Oct 06, 2010

California, mainstream media, Measure 74, MSM, New York Times, NPR, Oregon, Prop 19, Proposition 19, Wall Street Journal

Every day there are more and more stories in mainstream media outlets about Prop 19 and the growing national movement to end marijuana prohibition. That alone is a promising development. But what’s even more telling has been the way the tone of the coverage is starting to shift from asking, “Should marijuana be legal?” to, “Is marijuana going to be legal? And if so, when, where, and how?”

Check out just three examples from today:

Wall Street Journal: “Democrats Look to Cultivate Pot Vote in 2012”

Democratic strategists are studying a California marijuana-legalization initiative to see if similar ballot measures could energize young, liberal voters in swing states for the 2012 presidential election.

NPR: “Has the US Reached a Tipping Point on Pot?”

California's Proposition 19, if approved by voters, will legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana legal for the first time in the United States. Many other states have relaxed their marijuana laws. Is this the tipping point when marijuana follows alcohol and gambling from criminal offense to harmless pastime -- and source of new tax revenue?

New York Times: “Will California Show the Way on Marijuana?”

Like it or not, the tens of millions of people in California serve as a laboratory for new legislation, and their state sets a legal example that the rest of the states might follow. So, even if you do not live in California, pay attention to Proposition 19: maybe someday marijuana may come to a store near you.

In July, I wrote about the growing belief among political strategists that candidates can benefit from supporting marijuana reform. Just last week, the Oregon Democratic Party endorsed Measure 74, the ballot question that would add state-licensed dispensaries to that state’s medical marijuana law.