Voters in five states advanced the cause of marijuana reform on Tuesday with the approval of ballot proposals for cannabis legalization. Three states passed measures to legalize the recreational use of cannabis by adults, one approved medical marijuana, while the fifth, South Dakota, legalized cannabis for both medicinal and adult use.
After it became clear that voters in all five states had voted to approve cannabis legalization measures, Erik Altieri, the executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), called on politicians across the nation to take notice.
“The public has spoken loudly and clearly,” he said in a press release. “They favor ending the failed policies of marijuana prohibition and replacing it with a policy of legalization, regulation, taxation, and public education. Elected officials — at both the state and federal level — ought to be listening.”
“Despite this public consensus, elected officials have far too often remained unresponsive to the legalization issue. This dereliction of representation has forced advocacy groups to directly place the marijuana-related ballot question before the voters,” Altieri added. “These results once again illustrate that support for legalization extends across geographic and demographic lines. The success of these initiatives proves