At Large

Thursdays with the Editor: Across the USA, voters say yes to drugs!

A little voice said, “Just say yes to drugs.”

And voters from New Jersey to Montana to South Dakota and even Mississippi did just that and effectively loosened the grip of the War on Drugs.

Nearby Washington, D.C. , for starters, has decriminalized psychedelic mushrooms with a measure that declares police shall “treat non-commercial cultivation, distribution, possession, and use of entheogenic plants and fungi among the lowest law enforcement priorities.”

Oregon has legalized psychedelic mushrooms and even allowed for them to be tested in controlled environments opening the door to research for possible disorders, such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety.

And that’s before we even start talking about pot legalization.

Voters in the Garden State approved marijuana legalization to the tune of 66 percent, a few points higher than some earlier polls even predicted. Public Question 1 enshrined an amendment into the New Jersey constitution legalizing marijuana use for persons over the age of 21 while also legalizing the cultivation, processing, and sale of the substance.

In Montana, 56 percent of voters chose to legalize and tax marijuana. Voters in Arizona meanwhile came around in support of legalizing marijuana, to the tune of 59 percent, after voting against legalization four years ago.

Even Mississippi got in on the action. The Magnolia State passed a surprisingly liberal medical cannabis allowing for its use in treating over 20 illnesses by a near 3 to 1 margin.

South Dakota, notably more conservative and Republican, nodded before saying “hold my beer” and becoming the first state in the country to legalize both recreational and medicinal use on the same night.

69 percent of South Dakota voters chose to establish a medical marijuana program while 54 percent of voters chose to legalize recreationally, according to Politico.

If voters in South Dakota can cast ballots for both Donald Trump and legalized cannabis, in both medicinal and recreational capacities, what should that tell you?

These results coupled with a 2019 Pew Research survey which reported support for legalization of marijuana encompassed two-thirds of Americans, including 71 percent of millennial Republicans, shows that this culture war issue is on its death kneel.

Interestingly enough, the mantle of this work will fall on Republicans.

After winning historic support from minorities on Tuesday, they will have no choice but to embrace substantive reform efforts in criminal justice with their newfound majorities in state legislatures and unexpected gains in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In short, these elections can usher in a remedy for some of our political strife: a bipartisan coalition working to allow Americans to pursue as much of their personal freedoms as possible.

Or better yet, implementing baby steps for government to learn how to leave us the hell alone.

Categories: At Large, Columns, Opinion

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