Voters Across Country Accelerate Unprecedented Momentum to Legalize Marijuana, End Drug War

Press Release November 4, 2014
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<p>Contact:&nbsp; Tony Newman, 646-335-5384</p>

Voters across the country have accelerated the unprecedented momentum to legalize marijuana and end the wider drug war, with marijuana legalization measures passing in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., while groundbreaking criminal justice reforms passed in California and New Jersey.

“This Election Day was an extraordinary one for the marijuana and criminal justice reform movements,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Alaska and Oregon proved that Colorado and Washington were no flukes.  Washington, D.C. voters sent a powerful message to Congress that federal marijuana prohibition has no place in the nation’s capital.  Voters in Florida and Guam demonstrated that medical marijuana could win big even in fairly conservative jurisdictions.  And California and New Jersey  revealed an electorate eager to reduce prison populations and the power of the prison industrial complex.”

“These victories are even more notable for having happened in a year when Democrats were trounced at the polls,” added Nadelmann.  “Reform of marijuana and criminal justice policies is no longer just a liberal cause but a conservative and bipartisan one as well.  On these issues at least, the nation is at last coming to its senses.”

This November’s successes will boost efforts already underway in states such as California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada and Arizona to end marijuana prohibition in 2016.

There were a wider spectrum of drug policy reforms on the ballot this November than ever before in American history, on everything from sentencing and bail reform to marijuana legalization, far-reaching decriminalization and medical marijuana. Among the highlights:

UPDATE: This release was updated to reflect the winning measure in Alaska.

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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