Marijuana will once again be a hot topic on Election Day, with the future of local, state and federal cannabis policies in the hands of voters Nov. 6.
But this time, voters in states that typically lean Republican will be the ones weighing legalization measures at the ballot box.
A number of red communities in California, from the Inland Empire town of Hemet to rural El Dorado County, also will join dozens of blue communities in voting during the midterm elections on whether to allow commercial marijuana businesses.
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Republican candidates — and incumbent Democrats who haven’t traditionally supported marijuana reform — are talking about their support for regulated cannabis, too.
It’s all in response to a simple trend: support for marijuana legalization has never been higher.
“In some of these tight races, marijuana is more popular than the people who are running,” said Michael Collins, interim director for the Office of National Affairs at Drug Policy Action, the political arm of the advocacy group Drug Policy Alliance.
Marijuana reform could see a boost if predictions prove true of higher-than-normal voter turnout among young people in particular, who support legal cannabis at by far the highest rate of any voting bloc.
Either way, the surge in interest from candidates and communities that have otherwise been conservative on drug policy seems to be yet another sign of just how mainstream cannabis has become — and, some experts say, the inevitability of federal legalization.
“The momentum is very much on our side,” Collins said. “It’s not about should we legalize marijuana, it’s about when and how.”
Federal legalization at play
There are federal bills on the table to legalize hemp, to open …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Business