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What a wild election night! A big thanks to everyone who voted, and an especially big thanks to everyone who worked on a campaign this year to help ensure safe access for patients. As the saying goes, "Democracy is not a spectator sport," and this election medical cannabis advocates across the country put in an incredible amount of work and their voices were heard.
Some positive notes from yesterday's election:
- Every single one of of "Patient Champions" in Congress were reelected, allowing the medical cannabis community to maintain it's strong political leadership in both the Senate and the House. See who the Patient Champions are at VoteMedicalMarijuana.org.
- In the state of Pennsylvania, incumbent Governor Tom Corbett was defeated by Tom Wolf by a margin of almost 10%. Governor Corbett had warned the state legislature this session that he'd likely veto any medical cannabis legislation he deemed too broad, while Wolf is on record as being a strong supporter of a comprehensive medical cannabis program for the state.
- The US territory of Guam passed medical marijuana by a margin of 56%. A commission will work out the details of the territory’s medical cannabis program next year.
- Florida's medical cannabis initiative, Amendment 2, garnered nearly 58% of the votebut failed to reach the required 60% threshold necessary to pass. The good news is that with such a strong showing of public will on the issue, the state legislature should have the mandate it needs to pass a comparable comprehensive access bill in the coming session.
Every vote cast this election could be seen as either a vote for or against medical cannabis, whether it was a direct vote for an initiative like Amendment 2 in Florida, or a vote for a candidate running for Governor, Attorney General, Congress, or state legislature. As an issue, medical cannabis still has a long way to go, but thanks to support from informed voters like you, we have the necessary political leadership in place to keep the momentum moving forward!