Success: Marijuana Legalized in Massachusetts, California, Nevada, and Maine

Target: Voters and activists in the states of Massachusetts, California, Nevada, and Maine

Goal: Applaud successful efforts to legalize recreational marijuana in four new states.

Progressives may take solace in a few pieces of good news from the 2016 election: Massachusetts voted in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana, as did California, Nevada, and Maine by a narrow margin. Several more states also passed medical marijuana provisions. These are important victories in opposing the war on drugs, which disproportionately targets young people of color.

The success of these measures is thanks in part to publicity efforts like this ForceChange petition – now that the measure has passed, Massachusetts residents like Margaret Holcomb can no longer be unjustly targeted for growing a single pot plant for personal use. We can also thank the ForceChange Community for being a part of advancing marijuana reform in Maine, which turned out to be a very close race.

In the aftermath of such a shocking and, for many, deeply disappointing election, it is easy to get swept away in tides of anxiety, despair, and fear for where our country is headed. And while it is alright to feel this way, we must pull ourselves up by holding onto whatever victories we can achieve. For those who feel the government will no longer be representing them or what they believe to be positive change, all that means is that we’re going to have to do the work ourselves – whether it’s by signing and sharing petitions, engaging in community organizing, making donations to causes, or myriad other avenues.

For now, let us celebrate the fact that some truly progressive ballot measures were able to pass this year, including full legalization of marijuana in four states. And while we’re looking on the bright side, this also means that residents of Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, and California will be able to weather whatever trying times may lie ahead with a little help from Mary Jane.


Dear voters and activist communities,

I am writing to show my support for the successful ballot measures to legalize recreational marijuana in the great states of Massachusetts, California, Nevada, and Maine. Your votes have made a difference in people’s lives – people who no longer have to worry about mandatory minimums and lofty fines for marijuana possession.

There’s no telling for certain how far this puts us from national legalization, but I am optimistic that with continued public support we will reach this landmark in due time. When we do, no American citizen of any race, class, or gender, will have to face unjust police retaliation for something as trivial as smoking pot. The war on drugs is a travesty, disproportionately impacting young people of color, and it’s high time we saw a paradigm shift in this nation’s approach to substance regulation.

Thank you for being a part of legalization efforts in this election cycle. Whatever the future of politics may hold, with activists and forward-thinking citizens united on issues, we can continue to achieve victories like this.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Pablo Flores

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One Comment

  1. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    thank u gov brown for doing this for passing prop 64 marijuana laws! i rarely smoke marijuana but occasionally i do smoke marijuana.

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