Thursday, November 20, 2008

Drug War Election '08 Results

Drug War Election '08 Results: The Good and The Bad

Hawaii: Voters were asked whether the Police Department should regard marijuana as the lowest law enforcement priority. Voters pass law that would put the enforcement of laws against marijuana to each police officer's personal discretion, and would direct the County Council not to accept state or federal funds for marijuana eradication. DEA says they will still use their federal jurisdiction to prosecute marijuana crimes in Hawaii.

Massachusetts: 65 percent of voters mandated an end to minor marijuana possession arrests; police and pundits are already calling on lawmakers to amend — or even repeal — the new law.

Michigan: Became the 13th medical marijuana state with 63% of voters approving Proposal 1.

Arkansas: Citizens in Fayetteville voted in favor of initiative question #16, which instructs city police to make the enforcement of minor marijuana offenses a low priority. The initiative passed with nearly 66 percent support.

California: Not too surprisingly the citizens of Berkeley voted again to affirm an initiative that ‘eliminate limits on the amount of medical marijuana patient or dispensary can possess’. Measure JJ passed with 61 percent support.

California: Proposition 6 was defeated by 70% of the vote, a measure that would have required the eviction of people from public housing for a recent drug offense.

California: Unfortunately for reformers the Drug Policy Alliance-sponsored Prop. 5, which sought progressive criminal justice law reforms for non-violent offenders (and would have changed the legal status of a minor marijuana citation from a criminal to civil offense) did not prevail at the polls, losing with 40 percent support.

Oregon: Measure 57 passed with 61% of the vote, establishing new mandatory minimum sentences for repeat drug offenders, among other things. Measure 61 was still at 50%, but even if it passes, it fails because 57 got more votes (61’s mandatory minimums would have included first-time drug offenders)


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