Ballot initiatives continue to reverse marijuana prohibition while making the treatment of other drugs less oppressive and more tolerant.
It may be days before we know who won yesterday’s presidential election, but by the end of the evening, it was clear that drug warriors had suffered a resounding loss. Across the country, in red and blue states, on both coasts and in between, in the Midwest and the Deep South, voters passed ballot initiatives that not only continued to reverse marijuana prohibition but also broke new ground in making drug laws less punitive and more tolerant.
New Jersey’s approval of marijuana legalization was expected. Preelection surveys consistently put public support above 60 percent, although the actual margin of victory was a few points bigger than the polls suggested.
Arizona, where voters rejected legalization in 2016, was iffier. Public support averaged 56 percent in five polls conducted from mid-May to mid-October, and voters have been known to have second thoughts about legalization as Election Day approaches. In the end, legalization won by nearly 20 points. Survey averages likewise underestimated public support in Montana, where voters approved legalization by a 13-point margin, and Mississippi, where voters favored a relatively liberal medical marijuana initiative by a margin of nearly 3 to 1.
Jacob Sullum – Reason – Novermber 4, 2020.