By Mark A.R. Kleiman / Salon via Alternet / Nov. 9, 2012
The election results this week from Washington, Colorado, Massachusetts and Arkansas demonstrate that public opinion about cannabis has moved much faster than the positions of elected officials. That Massachusetts voters would pass a fairly loosely regulated medical marijuana system isn’t very surprising. But that voters in Arkansas came within a whisker of passing one shows that it isn’t just a hippie-dippie issue anymore. And for Colorado and Washington to take the plunge into full legalization – not just of use or for medical purposes, but full-scale commercial growing and sales – marks an epoch.
There are two “What next?” questions: What happens at the ballot box two or four years from now? And what happens in Colorado and Washington over the next year or two? Neither question has a clear answer, but the political developments may be easier to forecast than the operational ones. [Read more…]