Skip to main content

Hard Day for Medical Marijuana Initiatives

Submitted by Phillip Smith on
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

Update: Please see an important bulletin including an action alert for Arizonans that we published on Wednesday.

It was a tough night for medical marijuana, with two state initiatives losing decisively and a third trailing slightly very late in the game.

In Arizona, Proposition 203, which would create a tightly regulated medical marijuana dispensary system, was trailing in a very close race, with 49.74% of the vote to 50.26% against, in unofficial results from the secretary of state. The AZ Secretary of State's office reports that 100% of precincts have turned in their ballot counts. However, as an email from the initiative's main sponsor, the Marijuana Policy Project, pointed out Wednesday, there are 200,000-300,000 mail-in ballots estimated to have arrived at polling stations or elections offices in the final hours of the campaign, as well as "provisional" ballots cast by people whose residency was in dispute at the polls on Election Day. If 52% of those ballots have Yes on 203 votes in them -- more than the statewide average, but not radically -- Prop 203 would pull ahead.

Oregon's Measure 74 would have expanded the state's existing medical marijuana program by allowing for a system of state-regulated, nonprofit dispensaries and grow operations. According to official figures, it lost 42% to 58%.

South Dakota's Measure 13 would have created a tightly restrictive medical marijuana program, with no dispensaries and a list of specified ailments and conditions. According to unofficial figures from the secretary of state, it lost 37% to 63%.

None of the medical marijuana campaigns have yet reacted publicly to Tuesday's results. Look for a Chronicle feature article exploring what went wrong in the near future.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Dan B (not verified)

Folks, these ballot measures lost, but that doesn't mean that we have lost everything.  Every time one of these measures makes it to a ballot, people get out and start talking about this issue, and each time that happens, more people come around to accepting the fact that marijuana should be legal.  We are close to a national tipping point on this issue now, according to the latest Gallup poll, with 46% of all Americans agreeing that marijuana should be legalized for all purposes.  That means those of us who have been fighting these battles in large and small ways these many years have been having an impact, and we will continue to have an impact as long as we keep this issue in front of Americans' eyes. 

Do not be discouraged.  We have lost some battles, but we will win this war.  Keep joining the debate with the knowledge that the truth is on our side, and we will win in the end.

Wed, 11/03/2010 - 7:03am Permalink
Big Red (not verified)

The war on pot will end when the bankrupt U.S. government goes under like it's old enemy the U.S.S.R did!

It's bankrupt now. Let's hope when it dies it doesn't take the rest of us with it!

Wed, 11/03/2010 - 12:28pm Permalink
onegreenday (not verified)

utter insanity for Oregon to loose.

They already have medical marijuana.


I guess cali-type storefronts scare them

Thu, 11/04/2010 - 8:25pm Permalink
Joan (not verified)

The legalization of M for medicinal use is fine, and I hope it passes.  M should be more broadly legalized and regulated and taxed. This is a huge revenue generating machine for the state; and would also help fight the war on drugs.   Legalizing marijuana is only a short matter of time.  Everyone wants it and it makes people who have dreadful diseases, feel better.  What's the harm?

Fri, 11/05/2010 - 3:07pm Permalink

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.