Hidden within the historic presidential election were two referendums that represented a victory for marijuana reform activists.
The first was proposal 1, which legalized marijuana in the state of Michigan for medical use. It was passed despite a smear campaign from opponents that claimed that marijuana dispensaries would open near schools and playgrounds.
The law, however, does not allow for the creation of licensed dispensaries. It only removes penalties for cultivation and buying of marijuana by severely ill patients.
The law goes into effect on December 4th, at which point nearly a quarter of the US population will live in one of the 13 states that allow access to medical marijuana.
In Massachusetts, voters chose to decriminalize the possession of one ounce of marijuana or less, and the crime will no longer be a punishable by jail time. The offence is now punishable by a citation, a $100 fine, and the confiscation of the drugs.
If the offender is under the age of 18 they must complete a drug awareness course or face a harsher $1,000 fine.
Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, spoke about the two victories. “Tonight’s results represent a sea change,” he said and, “Voters have spectacularly rejected eight years of the most intense government war on marijuana since the days of ‘Reefer Madness.’”