Why Marijuana Legalization Campaigns Could Fail in 2016

 In News

This was supposed to be the year of Pot-Palooza, when five states are set to hold ballot initiatives that would make marijuana legal for recreational users. If all passed, it would bring the number of states offering pot for sale to nine, following similar measures that passed in Colorado and Washington in 2012 and in Alaska and Oregon in 2014.

Legalization advocates saw it as another potential leap in their march to slow the decades-long war on drugs: The rest of the country would see that the nine legalized states were awash in tax revenues, and that fears of stoned drivers flooding the roads in search of late-night Mallomars had been overblown. Other states, they imagined, would quickly follow suit, bringing the country ever-closer to its marijuana tipping point, when the federal government would finally be forced to step in and end pot prohibition once and for all.

But as the legalization movement heads into the 2016 election, with the marijuana issue on the ballot in five states—Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada—the fantasy of a New Green Rush is coming up against unexpected resistance, its momentum slowed by a lack of funding that advocates were not prepared for.

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