The back of Marijuana prohibition has been broken. Since the first Marijuana prohibition vote taken in 1913 in California, states one by one criminalized Marijuana with no scientific backing to support the prohibition. The 1937 Marihuana (sic) Tax Act made Cannabis de facto illegal nationwide, it wasn’t actually made illegal until the 1952 Boggs Act. Now the process is reversing.
Colorado won first, by virtue of being one time zone earlier than Washington, but both states relegalized small amounts of Marijuana for use by consenting adults. There were concerns over Washington’s proposed bill, particularly over a 5 nanogram THC blood content that would make pretty much anyone who smokes liable for “Driving Under the Influence of Drugs” arrest. Nevertheless, the measure passed, and will become law soon.
Massachusetts became the 18th state to accept medical Cannabis. A similar measure in Arkansas did not pass. Detroit, Michigan also passed a decriminalization measure.
Oregon’s Proposition 80 failed. It was the best written of the three state bills, but lacked enough funding to counter the prohibitionist lies about the measure. It’s a shame when a good law fails simply because of money. The vested interests have all the money they need. Our side traditionally has not.
In general, election day 2012 was good for freedom, at least in terms of Marijuana law reform. Many of us, especially here in Indiana, continue to face an uphill battle because of prohibitionists elected. Barack Obama won re-election for President and has done an about-face on medical Cannabis protection. His Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) stooge, Michelle Leonhart (a holdover from the Bush Administration) released a non-statement, saying they were still analyzing the Colorado and Washington wins, but maintained they would continue to enforce federal anti-Marijuana laws.
The big question…and they may set the standard for other states…is whether Washington and Colorado have the courage to stand up for their 10th Amendment rights against the federal government. DEA can not function without the cooperation of local authorities. What they do will set the pace for other states.
Nevertheless, efforts here in Indiana will continue. And we will be in the legislature in January, 2013, fighting for what’s right and best for our citizens.