The Cannabis User’s Guide to Voting

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Photo via Flickr user Theresa Thompson

By Joan Eberhardt

The Cannabis Users How To Guide to Voting

National Voter Registration Day was earlier this week, but you’ve still got time to make sure you can participate in the democratic process when this whole mess ends on November 8. If you aren’t registered, or you aren’t registered at your current address, or you just aren’t sure if you’re registered in the first place, check out nationalvoterregistrationday.org and get those questions answered.

There’s a good chance right now you’re thinking “All of my choices are terrible” and maybe that’s true, but it is genuinely not a good reason not to vote. Among the reasons that terrible candidates run is because not everyone votes. Voters who turnout to the primaries tend to be people who hold the views found at the more extreme ends of the political spectrum, and those who stayed home rather than voting basically ceded control of the race to those who did vote.

In 2014 Florida voters had the chance to implement a medical marijuana program, assuming the Amendment passed with at least 60 percent of the vote. While 90 percent of Floridians who were polled before election day supported Amendment 2, the amendment ultimately failed because it only received 58 percent of the vote at the ballot box. Currently Florida has a very small medical marijuana but the voters have another opportunity this year to pass an amendment that would expand the program considerably, assuming that two more percent of voters turnout on election day.

This year more states than ever before will vote on creating new recreational and medical marijuana programs, or significantly expanding their existing programs. In total marijuana initiatives are on the ballot in 9 states, including Florida, Maine, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Nevada, Arkansas, North Dakota and Montana. It would be a tremendous shame, and a big step in the wrong direction, for common sense cannabis legislation reform, if those measures were to fail, (which it might in Arizona, Massachusetts and North Dakota judging by the polls.)

Please don’t neglect the city, county or state races either. In about 10 minutes of googling you can learn anything you need to know about a candidate (the future is amazing). Follow both of them on Facebook and see who you unlike first, then vote for the other one.

Even if there is no marijuana initiative on the ballot where you live, you absolutely still need to vote. Care about the environment? Better make sure you vote for a Senator who does too. Is education a big deal to you? Then you definitely want to have a say in who is on the local school board. Many states offer early or absentee voting, which makes it much easier to make sure your voice is heard, if for whatever reason you cannot make it to the polls on November 8.


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