In states like Minnesota, illegal marijuana possession is at an all-time high (no pun intended). With the current success of pot legalization in areas such as Colorado, progressives are more worried than ever with the distinctive legislative gridlock in Washington and are arranging a major ballot initiative to push over the nation. They are banking on a very good electorate in 2016, with a number of parties now helping concerns such as improving the base pay, background checks for firearms and supporting marijuana legalization.
Organizations are now much more confident after the substantial success on progressive ballot initiatives presented to the conservative bloc of voters in 2014. In 2016, the younger, more liberal voters are anticipated to come out in droves, and develop more major victories. Referendums like firearm control, economic equality issues (including compensated sick leave and equal pay), and marijuana legalization are foreseen to go over those of 2012. This is a clear sign that liberals are accepting a state-based model that allows them to circumvent the legislature and Congress.
Meanwhile, Conservatives, are not taking this too well, and are vowing to end the momentum with a set of competing ballot propositions. Even with that move, the approach of advocates for pot legalization is predicted to do quite successfully, given the jarring demographic variances between midterm and presidential years.
“Especially with gridlock in Washington and fewer states likely to address the minimum wage legislatively, we’re likely to see more ballot initiatives on the minimum wage and other progressive economic issues,” announced Paul Sonn, general counsel at the National Employment Law Project, an organization that has helped minimum wage pushes across the U.S. Sonn’s statement reflects on the midterm election, in which the GOP took back the Senate and made major gains in the House. It was the smallest voter turnout since 1942, with much younger and minority voters making up a much smaller sized percentage of the voting pool.
Things are looking much more ideal now for progressives, as minimum-wage-hike success sweep across four hardened red states on November 4th– including, Arkansas, Alaska, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Sonn, however, feels confident that the rise in economic ballot propositions will enhance turnout more than in the last election cycle. Although Sonn can not certify which new initiatives will be on the ballot, he did say that states like Colorado, New Mexico, Maine, Missouri, and Washington are places where gridlock makes ballot initiatives an appealing alternative.
According to professionals, compensated sick leave and equal pay propositions are also likely to be on the ballot in 2016. The senior vice president of the Center for American Progress, Arkadi Gerney, declared the present trend in economic initiatives is greatly in reply to the failings of Congress and state legislatures. They simply have not managed the decades-long wage stagnation.
More than a few marijuana legalization organizations are also getting ready for the 2016 election in Arizona, Maine, California, Nevada, and Massachusetts. Heads of these groups also say they have a good chance at being on the ballot in Montana and Missouri, as well. They are hopeful due in part to the legalization of marijuana possession in Oregon and Alaska in 2014, and the legalization of the plant’s use and transfer in Washington, D.C. A constitutional amendment requiring a 60 % approval did fail in Florida, which would have permitted the usage of medical marijuana, but it still drew in a massive 58 percent of the vote.
The communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, Mason Tvert, said the group’s forceful push is also because of the gridlock in state legislature, saying, “In the legislature, you can have a majority of elected officials in support, but it might be held up for five years due to one or two legislators, or a governor threatening a veto.”
It’s true that the nation looks to be more pro-pot as the years keep going, but these modified campaigns will not be won without a fight. 2012 brought success in states like Colorado and Washington (the first two states to legalize small marijuana possession), but there also were some substantial deficits. These include the embarrassing defeat for recreational marijuana legalization in the bluest parts of Oregon.
Anti-marijuana groups are said to be on the counteroffensive. “We are ramping up our efforts,” expressed Kevin Sabet, who co-founded the anti-legalization Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) with previous Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.). “It’s clear that we have a lot of work to do. I’m not looking at this with rose-colored glasses,” Sabet appended.
Still, he justified that a spending advantage was a fundamental cause for legalization successes. Anti-legalization advocates have desperately outspent in both Oregon and Alaska this past cycle. Sabet would not rule out some anti-legalization ballot initiatives, either, featuring those that may probably tie state marijuana policy to federal policy, where halting prohibition would be much more challenging. “All options are on the table,” he declared.Categories: