A good night for marijuana – US mid-term elections

USA Flag - Some rights reserved by freefotoukFiveThirtyEight has certainly shone through as an excellent resource in these US Mid-term elections. On that website, at the end of a long night, Harry Enten wrote the excellent headline above with these reflections:

In addition to Republican governors, Republican senators and minimum wage increases, marijuana had a good night. Recreational marijuana easily won in Oregon and Washington, D.C., and it’s currently leading in Alaska.

The only state where marijuana didn’t win: Florida. A ballot measure to permit medical marijuana failed there, but only because it needed 60 percent of the vote to pass. “Yes” got 58 percent instead.

If “yes” continues to lead in Alaska, four states and Washington, D.C., will have legalized recreational marijuana.

* Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary in print, on air or online.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in LDVUSA.


  • It was a great result. When people hear the arguements about regulating marijuana vs continuing to criminalise it they usually go for legalisation.

    Anyway, the way politicans behaved over the cannabis issue in this country is the reason I once vowed never to vote in a General Election again. The problem with voting is you are effectively endorsing someone, and if someone it going to kick me in the teeth I’d prefer that they did it without my endorsement.

    I like to practice forms of meditation and don’t use cannabis because it is not the path I want to go down, but some otherpeople with similar interests that I have met have made cannabis use part of their spiritual practice. For a few people cannabis use is a part of their religion and I believe that this is often not reckongised. Another reason I hate the criminalisation of cannabis is I had a few friends at university that got charged with possession which had a real impact on their lives. I know that what my friends did in their youths many MPs have also done in their youths and if they had been caught they most probably wouldn’t be MPs today.

    The fact is many MPs are willing to destroy people’s lives for stuff that they themselves have done and gotten away with Scot-free.

    I first went off the Lib Dems due to cannabis policies believe it or not. I remember when Tom Brake was campaigning hard for the then Labour government to get tough and outlaw ‘headshops’. Hard to believe that the Lib Dems were pushing Labour to get tougher and more reactionary but it is true.

    I had hopes for David Cameron, I knew that as a back bencher he voted against his own party to make cannabis class C as part of a select committee but as soon as he became leader it was a 180 degree change and he goaded Gordon Brown into upgrading it to class B which Labour promptly did. It was then I realised that no party would tackle drugs sensibly and make policy based on evidence and I promised myself then that I would avoid the temptation to vote in a General Election again, leaders are elected to lead, not pander to the gutter press, if they would refuse to lead then the only thing left for me to do was refuse to endorse anyone of them. It is truly sad but there you go.

    I think some guy from the EU made a similar point to Cameron recently, that leaders should lead and make the case for EU membership rather than pander to prejudice and ignorance and let UKIP set the agenda.

    Even if every Lib Dem candidate promised me personally before the national media that if elected they would vote for cannabis to be legalised I wouldn’t vote Lib Dem now because I wouldn’t believe them.

    The thing is, I just don’t get why the mainstream parties are so scared of this issue. Arguing for sensible drug policies or cannabis legalisation, regulation and taxation is a policy that would win in debates even if most people were against it to start with, before both sides have made their arguments. And anyway, you don’t need an issue that has 51%+ support to win an election, the SNP will win the General Election in Scotland, yet they fought had for and exist for an idea that has only got the support of 45% of the electorate.

    I’m please that people in certain US states have done this, but strangle I feel sad as it reminds me of how bad or politicians actually are and that I once promised myself never to vote again, which is a promise to myself I should actually consider keeping.

  • Richard Dean 6th Nov '14 - 9:50am

    That’s right. We all need to get well and truly stoned if we’re to keep our sanity through the next few years of Republican nightmare!

  • Demand is there for these drugs and other substances, they fund organised criminal activity and can destroy people’s lives by unnecessarily turning people into criminals. When will people accept that the free market wants drugs like cannabis for recreational purposes.

    Drug abuse already costs the UK government and NHS millions (if not billions) every year as it fights an unwinnable battle against people supplying the free market with what it wants. If the UK government ever wants to really win the war on drugs then it must take away the profit from suppliers. Have the NHS supply drugs to the market as a “recreational prescription.”

    These “recreational prescriptions” would be sold at market price and heavily taxed, keeping almost all of the profit in the government’s hands. People would visit a GP or specialist recreational seller who would assess a person’s well-being as they used the drug. This happens already with GPs making sure that prescription medicine is working well for a patient and that the patient isn’t being harmed by the treatment. If the person is acting negatively to the drug then the supplying GP would cut their supply and offer help for that person to control themselves and their usage. The NHS already gives these drug support services and have to pick up the pieces of substance abuse; if they were their from the beginning then checks would be in place to ensure that the drug user doesn’t become a wreck.

    Similar things exist with alcohol and tobacco though it isn’t as regulated as this system would be. In fact I’d be almost tempted to include alcohol and tobacco in this system to better regulate it. Or rather to avoid the alcohol and tobacco lobbyists, I’d have this included with the drug system and continue to have alcohol and tobacco sales private. Heck maybe even include a recommend diet plan from the NHS. A nationalized system of drug pushing doctor nutritionists who keep track of your health by giving advice on your lifestyle. I realize it does sound like a scary totalitarian system for controlling the populace and would be open to abuse, but I think its better to keep in check than the current system of drug lords, rogue states, solely-profit interested companies and criminalization.

    The profits made from the service would go back to government to fund the NHS and other government services. I understand though that these plans do have the government controlling a big part of your life and I know that is unpopular, so I’d say a less nationalized plan would be allowing drug sales but heavily taxing them: just like alcohol or tobacco. Basically in the search for better government services and more taxes to fund them, taking away a criminal market to transform into a new heavily regulated & taxed market to tax is a good way. I’d do the same with prostitutes and suicide too. My belief is, if the act only harms yourself and no others, then why should it be illegal? People will do it anyway if they desire it enough, so society might as well try benefit itself from these acts.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • Nonconformistradical
    "HS2 is a very confusing issue" Indeed. When the real issue is not so much speed (or lack of) of railway journeys but inadequate capacity, especially in the ...
  • Christopher Haigh
    @peterwatson, HS2 is a very confusing issue.Its hard to work out whether it's a good or bad proje I wonder if anyone ever did a cost benefit analysis on it ?...
    With the cost of living having risen so dramatically, I don't think its unreasonable for a minimum wage to be at least £15/hr likewise the lowest level before ...
  • Katharine Pindar
    Thanks to all for developing an interesting debate here. I think we do have the means to end deep poverty and raise living standards in this country, if resourc...
    Just wanted to know if the ALDC is on line...