Republican States Have Become the New Cannabis Legalization Battleground
The fight over ballot measures wages on in Republican states, with increasingly expensive campaigns and signature-heavy petitions calling for recreational cannabis legalization.
WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 17: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (C) talks to reporters with Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) (L) and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) following the Senate Republican policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol April 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. Vice President Mike Pence joined the GOP senators for their weekly meeting. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images)
In Missouri, four ballot measures have been proposed – three of which are medical and one recreational. Organizers in support of recreational legalization have submitted their signatures and are now waiting for state election officials’ approval to add the question to the ballot. Previous polls indicate more than 60 percent of Missourians support cannabis legalization.
Pro-cannabis campaigns have consistently out-funded opposition campaigns, The Hill reports. In Missouri, for example, supporters have put millions towards backing their measure, while opposition groups haven’t even come close to that steep of a spend. Even in states where opposition groups have been relentless, such as Michigan, opponents have raised less than a quarter compared to legalization campaigns.
Kevin Smith of “Jay and Silent Bob” fame hopes fans will help fund his new cannabis comedy, Hollyweed.
While the reports in California are positive, for at least 21 other states, cannabis arrests have increased between 2014 and 2016—in some cases, by more than 50 percent.
Six years after Colorado and Washington legalized recreational cannabis, a study shows police officers are more successful at closing cases, since they aren’t busy investigating and arresting individuals for low-level cannabis offenses.