After the marijuana-policy-reform movement’s huge victories in Colorado and Washington on November 6, many people are asking, “What states will be next to enact measures to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol?” (We refer to these as “TR” bills or initiatives.)
It is important to note that this pair of 55 percent victories would have been less resounding had they appeared on the ballot during a midterm election. Presidential elections traditionally attract far more voters, many of whom are younger and more supportive of TR than older voters. And when there are more voters, there tends to be more support shown for ending marijuana prohibition.
With that in mind, here is what the Marijuana Policy Project will be pursuing from 2013 to 2016.
1. Alaska: Unfortunately, Alaska law currently only allows voter initiatives to be placed on the primary election ballot, so we will attempt to pass a TR initiative in August 2014. Fortunately, Alaska voters have traditionally been more supportive of TR than voters in any other state. Only 100,000 Alaskans are expected to vote in August 2014, so the universe of voters we need to persuade is quite small.
2. Rhode Island: MPP separately legalized medical marijuana and decriminalized marijuana possession in Rhode Island in 2009 and 2012, respectively. We’re now lobbying the state legislature to pass a TR bill, which could very well happen in 2014 or 2015. Regardless of which year this happens, Rhode Island will almost certainly be the first state to pass a TR measure through the