Tags: Marijuana | marijuana | legalization | medical use | ballot | voters

Legal Marijuana Use Before Voters in Oregon, Alaska and D.C.

Legal Marijuana Use Before Voters in Oregon, Alaska and D.C.
(Andreblais | Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Wednesday, 29 October 2014 06:59 AM

Voters in Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C., will decide on Nov. 4 whether to legalize sales of recreational marijuana to adults, The New York Times reported.

Colorado and Washington state voted two years ago to legalize such sales.

The front opposing legalization has much less money and is less united than those in favor. Anti-drug groups that receive government funding must also be careful not to spend money for political campaigning, the Times reported.

Supporters of legalization  include libertarians such as Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, left-leaning billionaire George Soros and his Drug Policy Alliance, and marijuana-related businesses, the Times reported.

In Oregon, backers of legalization will launch a $2 million ad campaign. Poorly organized opponents will spend roughly $10,000 on advertising. In Alaska, supporters will spend some $867,000 to promote legalization, while opponents have a budget of $97,000.

"This is not about independent Alaskans smoking marijuana in their homes, but a commercialization and industrialization of an industry," said Charles Fedullo of Big Marijuana Big Mistake, the Times reported.

In Florida, voters will be asked to decide whether to allow the medical use of marijuana. Casino millionaire Sheldon Adelson is helping to finance opposition to the measure, the Times reported.

Kevin Sabet, director of the University of Florida Drug Policy Institute and an opponent of legalization, acknowledges that "it looks bad" for his side. He said that legalization in Washington and Colorado had led to more young people being exposed to the drug and also raised highway safety issues.

"Legalization in practice has been the biggest enemy of legalization," Sabet said, according to the Times.

Peter Zuckerman, a legalization proponent in Oregon, said, "If we win, I think it shows that public opinion has decisively changed — we've won in two election cycles. If we lose, I think it becomes much harder. We have to maintain the momentum," the Times reported.

Voters in California are expected to vote on legalization in 2016.

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Voters in Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C., will decide on Nov. 4 whether to legalize sales of recreational marijuana to adults, The New York Times reported.
marijuana, legalization, medical use, ballot, voters
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2014-59-29
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 06:59 AM
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