The 2018 Midterm Elections are perhaps the most important in recent memory. They are the first, best, and last hope the Democrats have to set a blue wave through Congress and provide some much-needed resistance to the actions of the Trump administration. However, the excitement has overshadowed the conversation on cannabis.
On November 6th, Michigan and North Dakota will vote on statewide measures to legalize recreational cannabis. Meanwhile, Utah and Missouri will consider legalizing medical marijuana.
Although California is one of the most pot-friendly states in the nation, the future of the legal cannabis industry does depend on a few races.
In the governor’s race, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is predicted to beat Governor Jerry Brown. Gov. Brown has said unflattering things about cannabis users in the past. However, in recent months he has approved a bill giving privacy to recreational marijuana users and signed another bill that expunged many marijuana-related crimes. Still, Lt. Gov. Newsom, a former San Francisco mayor, is the frontrunner and a longstanding supporter of cannabis reform.
For the U.S. Senate, eyes are on Sen. Diane Feinstein (D) to be re-elected. Feinstein has evolved her position over the years from supporting the war on drugs to supporting states’ rights to set cannabis policy. It is also worth mentioning that as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Feinstein recently co-sponsored a bill that would deschedule cannabis.
Another incumbent, U.S. House Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) faces Democratic challenger Harley Rouda. Rep. Rohrabacher was one of the creators of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which protected legal medical marijuana users from federal prosecution. But Rohrabacher’s vocal support of Russia and Putin could lead to his defeat on Tuesday. A recent New York Times poll shows Rohrabacher and Rouda tied. Rouda has not come forward with any cannabis policy and is assumed to be neutral.
For more information on cannabis this midterm season, Leafly has an excellent piece. Find your polling place here.
And from everyone at Margolin & Lawrence, GO VOTE!