This feels like a tipping point on marijuana legalization
(CNN) — Voters on Tuesday in Oklahoma — Oklahoma! — became the latest in the US to approve broad access to marijuana when they approved one of the most permissive medical marijuana initiatives in the country.
The state’s Republican Gov. Mary Fallin said she’ll work to tighten the initiative and then responsibly implement it, although she was concerned about it leading to recreational marijuana use.
That will make 30 states with some kind of legalized marijuana. Nine of those states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized the drug. Vermont becomes the ninth when its legal pot law becomes effective July 1. Voters in Michigan will vote on legal pot this November. In Utah, they’ll weigh in on medical marijuana.
The entire West Coast of the United States has legalized the drug. The entire northern US border abuts a country (Canada) that has legalized marijuana for recreational use.
Candidates and Democrats, in particular, are taking note and trying to use the issue to their advantage.
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer has promised to introduce a decriminalization bill soon. Rolling Stone recently noted it is taking him some time. There are other proposals to fully legalize the drug at the federal level, including one by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, an oft-mentioned potential 2020 presidential candidate.
Other potential presidential candidates in the Senate, including Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California and Bernie Sanders of Vermont have signed on as co-sponsors to Booker’s effort.
A Democratic strategist — Guy Cecil, who has worked for super PACs — said in May that Democrats see pot as a motivating issue for young voters:
“I don’t think there’s any question that in the places we’ve seen legalization on the ballot, that it has increased interest in the election on the part of young voters in particular, that it has