Marijuana in the 2013 Elections

Today, voters across the nation head to the polls to cast their ballots in a number of state and local elections. While there are no statewide marijuana initiatives this year, that doesn’t mean some Americans won’t have the chance to vote in favor of sensible marijuana law reforms.

In Portland, Maine, Question 1 will appear on the ballot. This measure would remove all criminal and civil penalties for possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana within the city. No arrest, no fine, no crime. NORML encourages all Portland residents to get out and vote YES on Question 1.

Three areas in Michigan will also be voting on local marijuana legalization initiatives. Lansing, Ferndale, and Jackson will be voting on measures to legalize the private adult possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana in those locations. NORML encourages voters in these cities to get out and vote YES on these efforts.

Below is a statement from NORML PAC on the endorsements it has made in this year’s races:

New Jersey
18th Legislative District State Senate – Assemblyman Peter Barnes: “NORML PAC is endorsing Assemblyman Peter Barnes in his campaign for a seat in the state Senate representing the 18th Legislative District. Assemblyman Barnes has been a strong supporter of medical use as well as marijuana decriminalization during his tenure in the Assembly and we believe he will prove a strong advocate for reform issues should he be elected to the Senate. Meanwhile, his opponent, East Brunswick Mayor David Stahl, oversaw an over 35% increase in marijuana arrests in his city from 2010-2012. For these reasons, NORML PAC is endorsing Assemblyman Barnes for state Senate.”

15th Legislative District State Assembly – Assemblyman Reed Guscoria: “NORML PAC is pleased to endorse Assemblyman Reed Guscoria in his campaign for reelection to the New Jersey State Assembly. Assemblyman Guscoria has been a vocal advocate for reforming New Jersey’s marijuana laws, from drafting the original NJ medical marijuana legislation, being the primary sponsor of the NJ Assembly’s marijuana decriminalization bill, and continuing to push for sensible reforms to New Jersey’s medical marijuana program to make it workable for patients.

Assemblyman Guscoria has been an important leader pursuing reforms that roll back the senseless and destructive prohibition on marijuana and move New Jersey towards a policy that is smart on crime and compassionate towards the state’s patient population. ”

Miami Beach

Mayoral Election – Steve Berke: “NORML PAC is pleased to endorse Steve Berke in his campaign for mayor of Miami Beach. Steve has been a tireless advocate for reforming marijuana laws and has used his campaign and platform to educate the public about the failures of marijuana prohibition and the necessity of pursuing a new policy. We believe that during his mayorship, Steve Berke would be an excellent spokesman for advancing the conversation around ending our country’s war on cannabis consumers, as he has already done for many years outside of elected office. Steve Berke believes strongly in reforming our current laws and moving towards a system of legalization and regulation, for these reasons NORML PAC supports his candidacy for mayor.”

18 thoughts

  1. Are there any iniatives or petitions running un 2013/14 in Virginia? Where can I research specific legislative purposals, voting records and va history re marijuana?
    Which of thr three election in VA today does NOrml support?

  2. Oops. Which candidates for Gov, Lt. Gov and Atty General is favorable to legalization? I cannot find the candidates position via campaugn/other websites? Any info/rec on research? Thanks!

  3. Just saw the Colorado votes. Hell yeah! I live in one of the states that borders Colorado, and am already planning a spring vacation there. I’ve been to Amsterdam twice; had to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Now all I have to do is cross the state border!!!

    PS–I called my Rep’s office about 3-4 weeks ago, urging legalization. I’m gonna be calling her office again real soon.

  4. I feel the same way Evening Bud. Im planning to visit CO myself. :-). Virginia is a uptight/self-righteous Commonwealth and frown upon medicinal purposes and definately anti-decriminalization! In Northern Virginia, most “officials” are so hypocritical. The DEA and other all divisions if the judicial/law enforcement officials feel their employment is a risk (which is ridiculous) and the State will never walk away from the criminal prosecution DUE To THE REVENUE generated by the state. GREED!

    I intend to be an outspoke advocate/activist because I personally use marijuana for several medical issues, including Cancer. In 4/2012 I stopped taking 4 meds and replaced with a responsible pot usage. I smoked before; but now it is personal now.

    Today, VA elected a Dem Gov., Dem Lt. Gov and Attorney General is leaning Dem but waiting on poll finals and recount.

    I will be taking this issue to Govenor and request petition requirements and process.


  5. Great job Norml. I love to see cities, not necessarily states and certainly not the feds, lead this charge.

  6. Hey Richard,

    Good luck with your petition. And best of luck with your medical condition–my heart goes out to you, brother. I live in NM; I’m glad we have MMJ here. (We have a Tea Party Governor, Susanna Martinez, and she made noises about eliminating MMJ the day she got into office; however, the Dems, who essentially control this state, pushed back, and she dropped the subject.)

    I don’t hear anything at all about recreational legalization here, however. I’ve called my Rep’s office a couple of times, as well as my Senator’s office. Last time I called my Rep’s office I got some young office type who told me it really is a governor issue. I let her comment pass, but will be calling back again.

    PS–I’m following the situation in Colo closely, and look forward to any future articles by NORML on that situation.

    The tide is turning–quicker and quicker it seems. Best of luck to you my brother; maybe I’ll bump into you in CO and we can have a legal toke together. 🙂

  7. I wish La would just pass a medicinal usage law. I have been through a 1500° apartment fire 11 1/2 years ago and now suffer from epilepsy & arthritis. I have told my MD & the response I received was “ok” when they asked why I smoked. Basically you can say I’ve been through hell & back and my state won’t pass a med weed law, instead you’re gonna need a lawyer!

  8. Thank you SwampSmoker. If you haven’t already; take a look at This information will set your hair on fire and drive you to take several tokes. LOL!

    The more research I do; the more determined (and angrier) I am to be an activist for the cause.

    Just a bit of history which makes me angry…,

    Hemp was most popular, grown by most land owners and used for over 100 plus purposes dating back hundreds of years.

    What is most infuriating occured not toi long ago. Between 1920’s to 1970 the Oil Barons Rockefeller, Standard Oil and the Rothschild of Shell. Basically, they conspired to publish lies and fradulent information/video campaigns to destroy the hemp trade SOLELY out of personal GREED. This type of corporate fraud and blatent lies to destroy product reputation, competition and to promote their product (petroleum) and privately owned companies/ SOLEY create a monopoly on the petroleum market.

    GREED, FRAUD, CRONEEISM, Andrew Mellon, Treasury Secretary and head of the Bank of Pittsburg (which was 80 percent financer CREATED the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (later becoming the DEA) and appoints HIS NIECE’S HUSBAND Andrew Anslinger to head the government division.


  9. Richard

    I am really glad someone is stepping up to the plate in Virginia, a state with immense political influence due to its proximity to the nation’s capital and home to some bureaucracies. In Virginia, if I’m not mistaking, a good majority of the citizens actually believe in at least medical usage, especially Northern Virginia, the Democrat’s biggest support in the recent election. While I wish that the Libertarian candidate was chosen instead (which I know was unlikely), I still have hope that the newly elected Democrats will push for logical policies. I believe it could happen in Virginia with enough support. Simply, I’d like to thank your effort.

    Best of luck with your petition!

  10. Legalize marijuana and stop the proabition it has never hurt anyone. Alcohol, pills, heron, crack, and all that crud kills. The most dangerest part of maijuana is buying, or having it in possession. If we take it out of the cartel, and tax evation and use the monies made and put to our deficite. give monies to help with schooling for our childern and toward help to those with real drug problems. Use the monies for health care.

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