Marijuana Wins Big In The 2018 Midterms
Big night for politics
Last night was a stressful evening for both political parties. There were nail-biters, neck-and-neck races, contentious battles, voter suppression, fear mongering, hopeful strides and hearty blowouts. If politics were sports, this was the seventh game of the 2016 NBA Finals.
For Republicans, maintaining control of the House, Senate and Governor roles was key to continuing Trump's oft-derided agenda. Success would mean unchecked power for a further two years, and unfettered control over how the government uses its money, not to mention the future judge appointments or unpopular policies they would enact (like child separation). Big wins would also be necessary in order to show critics that Trump's tactics are, in fact, working in the eyes of the American people.
For Democrats, last night was about creating a check to President Trump's overreaching power, and setting a progressive tone for the future. It was about rebuking Trump's aggressive rhetoric, and fighting back on some of the most controversial aspects of his administration. With only (modestly accurate) polls as their guide, Democrats were deeply unsure of their chances. Were they right to battle Trump, or does the country approve of their 45th president?
And last night was something of a mixed bag for both ideologies, though the night seemed to favor Democrats overall. Republicans retained some seats, keeping the Senate, but lost control of the House, as well as several Governor mansions. Trump's power will now have a check from the House, and several ongoing investigations related to Trump and his associates should be able to stay above water long enough to reach their conclusions.
It was a particularity big night for women in government. More women were elected to government seats than ever before in American history! Women now hold 112 seats, blowing past the previous record of 107. So impressive, and very exciting to see this change.
Big night for weed
It was also a pretty big night for marijuana, which was on the ballot in four states, including North Dakota, Utah, Missouri, and Ohio's next-door neighbors, Michigan.
The ballot measures in Michigan and North Dakota were aimed at fully legalizing cannabis for recreational purposes. The measures in Utah and Missouri hoped to legalize cannabis for medical purposes.
Let's start with the bad news. North Dakota's recreational measure failed, 41% in favor to 59% opposed. These may seem like tragic numbers, but 41% of the state is no joke. Rather, this number continues to show that support for full legalization of marijuana is growing, and will continue to grow as more education and personal experiences about cannabis are shared with those who oppose.
Thankfully, medical marijuana is already legal in North Dakota. The measure passed in 2016, 64% in favor to 36% opposed. Education is key to understanding the cannabis issue, and the fact that 41% of a generally conservative state is now viewing fully legal cannabis favorably is a blessing, not a curse. Here's to trying again in 2020!
Now onto the good news. Michigan has become the eleventh state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Michigan already has a medical marijuana law, which has been in place since 2016. The recreational measure passed 56% in favor, 44% opposed.
This law will go into effect ten days after the election results have been officially verified, meaning that weed will be legal in Michigan, possibly by the end of November 2018, or earlier! We'll keep our curious Ohio readers updated as that story develops over the next few days, so stay tuned.
Medical marijuana wins
Utah and Missouri have passed measures that legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes. Both of these states are generally considered conservative-leaning, marking yet another shift toward a pro-pot stance from traditional Republicans. If this trend continues, in less than ten years from now we should see every state in the U.S. add MMJ laws.
The measure in Utah passed by a thin margin, 53% in favor to 47% opposed. Missouri had a more resounding victory, with 66% in favor, 34% opposed. The Missouri bill allows doctors to recommend marijuana for any ailment, with no restrictions, and allows for home cultivation.
Interestingly enough, Missouri had three ballot measures geared toward medical marijuana. The other two measures failed. The first would have legalized MMJ, but would have restricted the conditions and would not have allowed home grows. That measure failed 69% opposed, 31% in favor. The second measure to fail, 44% in favor to 56% opposed, would have taxed medical cannabis by 2% and allowed only specific conditions.
Missouri and Utah join 31 states (and DC) in legalizing medical marijuana. That brings the new total to 33. Just 17 more states remain until marijuana is legal for medical purposes in every state throughout the US. And with 2-5 states on the ballot each year, it won't be long until the federal government is forced to reconsider their unnecessary prohibition of cannabis.
Ohio Ballot Measures
There were a few decriminalization measures throughout Ohio, as well as Issue 1, which would have decriminalized most small drug offenses and allowed for less criminal penalties, reducing the overall number of prisoners in Ohio jails.
The issue proved rather controversial among conservatives and some liberals, who debated whether this measure was the right course. Ultimately, Issue 1 did not pass, with 65% opposed and 35% in favor.
Other decriminalization measures were more favorable. Dayton, Oregon, Fremont, Norwood and Windham passed measures that decriminalized marijuana in their cities. The only decriminalization measure to fail in Ohio was in Garretsville.
At current, Ohio is a decriminalized state, but each of these measures will loosen the laws even more, allowing people to carry small amounts of marijuana with little to no repercussions. With measures like these passing throughout the state, it appears Ohio is finally ready to consider full recreational legalization.
Alas, with anti-pot-leaning Republicans gaining control over Ohio's key political positions, and incoming governor Mike DeWine signaling his lack of support for recreational legalization, it may be longer than expected for Ohio to go fully legal. We will see how things go in 2019 and 2020. Thankfully, Ohio has medical marijuana laws in their books, so patients suffering can still receive MMJ treatment.
If you are an Ohioan suffering from one of these 21 medical conditions you may be eligible to treat your ailment with medical marijuana, which includes both THC and CBD products. Click here to learn more about what Ohio Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at 1-866-457-5559 and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process, and set you up with an appointment.
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