Marijuana Won Tuesday's Election

Voters in two states chose new governors on Tuesday. Both of those elections -- as well as the results of a number of local races across the country -- will have huge implications for efforts to legalize marijuana.

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Politics

 By Tom Angell |  Forbes.com

Voters in two states chose new governors on Tuesday. Both of those elections -- as well as the results of a number of local races across the country -- will have huge implications for efforts to legalize marijuana.

Here's an overview of cannabis-specific ballot measures that voters approved, along with details on how the Democratic gubernatorial wins in New Jersey and Virginia will boost marijuana reform campaigns in those states.

New Jersey Governor-Elect Phil Murphy

Phil Murphy, the incoming governor, campaigned on marijuana legalization.

"The criminalization of marijuana has only served to clog our courts and cloud people’s futures, so we will legalize marijuana," he said during his primary night victory speech. "And while there are financial benefits, this is overwhelmingly about doing what is right and just.”

This summer he tweeted, "NJ's marijuana laws cost $143M/yr & come w a 3:1 racial disparity in arrests."

With Murphy replacing vocal cannabis opponent Chris Christie (R) as governor, New Jersey is poised to potentially become the first state to allow legal recreational marijuana sales with an act of its legislature, as opposed to by voters through a ballot measure.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D) is "committed" to bringing up a legalization bill early in 2018. "We are going to have a new governor in January 2018," he said. "As soon as the governor gets situated we are all here and we intend to move quickly on it."

Continue reading this article at Forbes.com

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