Election day, November 4, 2014 may prove to be the biggest day in history, thus far, for marijuana policy reform in America. Therefore, both proponents and opponents of this issue are hitting the streets in a scramble attempt to educate and sway voters. This info-graphic identifies those who scale highest on the list of threats to marijuana policy reform in America.
Michele Leonhart, DEA Administrator, was seeded at the highest threat level. She has consistently refused to license the potential marijuana growers who’s product would supply federally approved marijuana research. Research about the medical and therapeutic uses of marijuana at that level would make a huge difference on the education of American voters on the subject, and it could already be underway if it was not for Leonhart. Also, she publicly agrees that marijuana should stay listed as a Schedule I drug, which is classified as having zero medical uses, in the company of crack and heroin.
One of the most vocal opponents to marijuana legalization who ranks at a high threat level, Kevin Sabet, is staging his attack in Oregon this week. He is scheduled to speak against marijuana legalization in 7 different cities throughout the state. Sabet usually speaks on a platform of fear that the marijuana industry will be the next Big Tobacco out to make everyone an addict. The Oregonian pointed out that originally, Sabet’s “marijuana education” tour consisted of thirteen stops, and was partially funded with federal grant dollars. Once questions were raised at what this federal grant money was funding, Sabet was no longer invited to speak at many of the scheduled seminars. Most of the organizations running these marijuana education seminars chose to invite different speakers over Sabet because they want the seminar to be just that, educational. The purpose of these events is to provide an non-biased learning space, not to have voters be swayed by political influence.
Gil Kerlikowske, former Drug Czar, may no longer hold the position responsible for directing drug control policy, but he and his predecessors have been behind marijuana prohibition from the start. Harry J Anslinger was the first to hold the position, and he was the first major player in the war against marijuana. Harry was responsible for the Reefer Madness campaign, and each person that has held that office since, has blindly supported Anslinger’s war even though there is no supporting evidence.
There is one threat to this historical leap in the fight to end marijuana prohibition, of which many potential voters may not be aware. They are quickly running out of time to register to vote. Voter registration ends in as few as 3 days. Those who want a voice in marijuana policy reform are being urged to register before it is too late.
- October 5– voter registration ends in Alaska. Find out how to register to vote in Alaska.
- October 6– voter registration ends in Florida. Find out how to register to vote in Florida.
- October 14– voter registration ends in Oregon. Register to vote in Oregon.
- Washington D.C’s voters can register at the polls on election day. Save the hassle by registering to vote online.
Two states, Alaska and Oregon, have the opportunity to legalize marijuana for adults twenty-one years of age and older. Alaskan’s will vote on Measure 2, which legalizes the possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana and 6 plants for of-age adults. Oregon will vote on Measure 91, which would legalize the possession of up to 8 ounces of marijuana and 4 plants for of-age adults. In both Alaska and Oregon, if these measures pass, marijuana will be regulated similarly to alcohol. Florida voters will vote on Amendment 2, which legalizes the use of medical marijuana. Washington D.C.’s voters have the opportunity to vote on Initiative 71, which, for adults aged twenty-one years or older, would legalize possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana and 6 plants for personal use.
If you are a resident of Alaska, Oregon, Florida or Washington D.C. who wants your voice to be heard, no matter which voice that is, register to vote today, before it is too late.