Author Topic: Two marijuana-related ballot initiatives won in voting booths on Tuesday.  (Read 3296 times)

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Offline Sea Mac

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Bulletin from MPP:

Great news! Two marijuana-related ballot initiatives, one in Maine and one in a ski town in Colorado, won in voting booths on Tuesday.

By 59%-41%, Maine voted to become the third state to license nonprofit dispensaries to provide medical marijuana to qualified patients.

And by an overwhelming 73%-27%, Breckenridge, Colorado voted to allow adults over the age of 21 to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. The Breckenridge initiative was spearheaded by MPP grant recipient Sensible Colorado.

Maine's new law is enormously important. While 13 states permit medical marijuana use, until now only Rhode Island and New Mexico have had laws allowing dispensaries, both of which were adopted by the states’ legislatures. Patients in the other states have had to grow their own marijuana, find someone to procure it for them, or buy it from the criminal market.

Tonight's vote is a dramatic step forward, the first time that any state’s voters have authorized the state government to license medical marijuana dispensaries. Coming a decade after passage of Maine’s original marijuana law in 1999, this is a huge sign that voters are comfortable with these laws, and also a sign that the recent change of policy from the Obama administration is having a major impact.

The new Maine law also expands the number of conditions that make a patient eligible for medical marijuana use and protects patients from discrimination in employment, housing, education, and child custody.

A coalition of activists and marijuana policy reform organizations are responsible for this victory: MPP got the momentum going by drafting the initiative and providing start-up funding to Maine Citizens for Patients' Rights, and the Drug Policy Alliance provided assistance to help complete the signature drive.

We have momentum on our side, so now is the time to push even harder for change.