By Andrew Reynolds
November’s midterm elections included ballot measures in five states that would either legalize or decriminalize marijuana. Even though every measure failed, the results show that a substantial support base for marijuana reform may exist and perhaps is ready to be heard.
In California voters rejected the idea of legalizing and taxing marijuana represented by Proposition 19. However, 46 percent of voters voted in favor of the measure.
Consider the 12 states that have already passed decriminalization legislation, which converts small marijuana-related offenses from criminal offenses to civil infractions or fines.
According to Keene State College Political Science Professor and N.H. State Representative Chuck Weed, throwing marijuana-related offenders in jail for a “victimless crime” is unacceptable.
“It is not unsafe; it hasn’t killed anybody. All of the studies suggest that it’s certainly less addictive than alcohol, less addictive than tobacco. No one has died from overdoses,” Weed said. “Yet, an awful lot of people have their lives ruined because of being thrown in jail, and that isn’t appropriate,” he added.