Will The Marijuana Vote Be A Factor This November?


2016 NVRD

This year’s Presidential election will most certainly be one for the ages. As much of the campaigning prior to Election Day turns negative, NORML is here to remind marijuana law reform advocates that there remains many reasons to remain positive. On November 8, voters in nine states will go to the polls to decide statewide cannabis reforms. We want to assure that you are among them. It is up to us to make sure our supporters are motivated and have everything they need to participate in this November’s election.

In order to accomplish this goal, it is imperative that we make sure our supporters are registered to vote. Something as simple as a clerical error can cause your voting rights to be denied. Take the 2012 general election for example, more than 6 million American voters were not able to vote due to an outdated voter registration.

That’s why we’ve decided to partner with NationalVoteRegistrationDay.org, a nonprofit organization that is focused on one thing: registering more voters. Since the organization was formed, they have made it their mission to promote a national day of action and educate voters on the importance of updating their voter registration.

In the coming days, NORML will also be releasing our updated and revised 2016 Congressional Scorecard, ranking every member of Congress based on their voting history and public statements. The Scorecard, which will be available on the NORML website on Tuesday, September 27, will serve as a guide for voters this November. With five states voting to legalize the adult use of marijuana, and four states voting to legalize medical marijuana, it’s imperative that we focus our attention on utilizing our strength in numbers to mobilize support for pro-marijuana initiatives and/or candidates across the country.

While some in the media will continue to question what impact supporters of marijuana law reform will have on the outcome of this November’s election, I’m confident in our ability to prove that we can and will be an important voting block.

I hope you’ll join us for National Voter Registration Day next Tuesday, September 27, 2016 to celebrate democracy in America by registering to vote! For more information or to find out ways to help promote our efforts, please click here!

17 thoughts

  1. Here’s the effect;

    The sheer number of Democratic Congressional candidates in favor of marijuana legalization reform (besides Debbie Washmoney Shultz) is going to win the Senate back to blue, and take a few House seats as well.
    There is one great Republican marijuana ally, Dana Rorhabacher, but he is from a firmly Democratic state of California anyway.
    The state that is most intriguing to watch is Arizona; After a vast opposition to their marijuana legalization initiative from the synthetic heroin monster, Insys, which dropped half a million dollars into the anti-legalization campaign, and a contraversial lack of voting booths during the primaries, America must wonder how this red state is tilting on purple.
    Georgia has been a surprise. The marijuana movement stirred up support for Bernie Sanders too little too late with celebrity endorsements from Killer Mike during the primaries. But now we are looking at a firmly blue state for general elections in no small part thanks to marijuana grassroots like http://www.peachtreenorml.org

    Look at swing states like North Carolina and Pennsylvania. The Democratic candidates in these states are tilting towards cannabis reform in subtle yet big ways. And they don’t even have voter initiatives!
    Here in Texas, a reliably red state, Drumph has influenced Mexican US residents to become US citizens, some of which I proudly helped to naturalize. From San Antonio we have a Progressive candidate, Tom Wakely;
    Tom will attend a marijuana policy reform education seminar next month running against the worst prohibitionist monster in the House, Republican Representative Lamar Smith, a climate change denier who happens to be chair of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.
    There is a Democratic Progressive movement that wants marijuana legalized yesterday, spending revenue on public health and education. It feels good to see the tables have turned…

    1. Julian, I have no interest in arguing or trying to refute you because of who you are and the great work you do, but can you tell me, or post a link to, why you think Georgia is a “firmly blue state”? I understand Atlanta and Athens being blue, but the way the districts are drawn, and my knowledge of the state having lived here for a few decades, it seems to go deeper red every year. The hispanic population increases every year, as well as the college educated pop, but overall it seems like one of the darkest red states there is. What am I missing?

      1. Apologies Blake, I should have been more specific;
        Hillary has a chance to win, turning the presidential election map blue, but State reps are an uphill battle indeed;


        Unfortunately when it comes to Congress and state legislatures Georgia has a similar problem as Texas where Republicans with an “F” NORML rating like Doug Collins have no Democratic opponent. That means we have to form Democratic caucuses and campaign to get people to show up and vote. Hence the merger of NORML with http://www.nationalvoterregistrationday.org
        Whether we’re from non-voter initiative states trying to form a caucus or states with voter initiatives trying to collect signatures we have to make sure we are verifying signatures from registered voters.

      2. It should be added that as we plant the seeds to create Democratic caucuses, this should not impede us from citizen lobbying face to face with our single-candidate Republicans that are failing the NORML standard.
        In my district of Texas state Republican representative Jason Isaac was not in favor of marijuana reform just a few years ago. But after some citizen lobbying from norml people like myself and a joint effort (pun intended) from Heather Fazio from Texans for Responible Marijuana Policy and Jax Finkle from Texas NORML Rep. Isaac is now leading legislation to decriminalize the state of Texas and expand the Compassionate Use Act. Patients who suffer from seizures visiting their state Congressman cannot be overstated. The efforts of former Director of Patient Outreach, Vincent Lopez continue to inspire reform movements like Team Alex. (R.I.P.Pipe Vincent).
        When we go face to face with our reps and make legalization personal, respectful and focused even the most staunch prohibitionists have to compromise with their own cannabinoid systems.
        Unless they are a douchebag narcissist. Particularly orange ones. They can only be voted out.

    2. When a helicopter pilot looks down at an unarmed black man with his hands up and says “This is a bad dude. He’s definitely on something.” Its not hard to link the police violence we’re seeing with the failed drug war. The question remains how many people will register as voters and do something about it?
      That’s why NORML teaming up with http://www.Nationalvoteregistrationday.org is the best thing that could happen to Democracy.

  2. Outstanding!

    I only add this: If you’re saying “I wonder if I’m registered,” or “I think I’m registered,” then here is the website for NASS (National Association of Secretaries of State) where you can easily check for certain.


    We’ve waited for Congress to listen; they mocked us. We implored the DEA to listen to reason; they ignored us. The cops used to say “we don’t make the laws, we just enforce them”; now, they openly and actively lobby for more drug war against us.

    Now, the target is Congress again. But this time, we’re not coming as supplicants — we’re here to kick ass!

    Register to vote. Find the local prohibitionist drug warriors in your voting district, by using the NORML congressional scorecard. Then vote the bastard out of office!

  3. Though Congress is the prize during this election for improving marijuana policy, for those still on the fence about which of the only two viable candidates will best represent US drug policy, here’s your answer;


    Blaming Mexicans on drug war violence from US drug policies and then claiming the solution is a bigger bureaucracy of the “best” prosecutors and criminal investigators is, once again, right out of the playbook of Harry Anslinger. The racism is merely a distraction for more prohibitionist policies intended to acquire the money and assets of non-white citizens and illegal immigrants.

    But with the opiate crisis looming and lobbying campaign money dumping on candidates up and down the ballot and anti-marijuana campaigns from Northrup Grumman and Insys white people are under more attack from bad drug policies than ever before. Remember, in order for racist propaganda to work, the bully, in this case Drumph, has to first deceive the perceived majority that they will benefit from a nationalist movement; that somehow blaming drugs for our socioeconomic inequality won’t backlash onto the majority. But that has already happened. Our veterans are dying. Between 20 and 50 a DAY. We don’t need better prosecutors for that. We need to treat addiction like the health problem it is and give people legal access to marijuana.
    No drug enforcement!
    Yes drug education!

  4. Don’t forget to vote people. It’s important. Unless of course you like being locked up for using a medicinal herb.

  5. Just read the NORML 2016 Senate and Congressional “Scorecards.”

    First, thank you for the enormous amount of work that goes into tracking all of this.

    Second, it is SO refreshing to see some actual politicians actually standing up for what is actually true: cannabis prohibition causes and magnifies human suffering, while cannabis use generally relieves and reduces it.

    Third, however, it seems to me you are “grading on a curve”: many of these politicians got “C”s while clearly being antagonistic to federal legalization, and GROSSLY misinformed about the [lack of] dangers of cannabis use.

    [Sadly, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, given that we have all been entranced to EXPECT our politicians to do more lying than leading…]

  6. Julian,

    Several great posts!

    I suspect the MJ issue will bring out some voters, and if party history is any indicator, the GOP should be in trouble, particularly in states where legalization is on the ballot.

    Those who believe Donald Drumpf will be better for MJ legalization than Hillary, I believe, are basing their hopes on a lot of pure speculation. Drumpf’s party has a long history of backing MJ prohibition. That Drumpf will automatically be able to turn that around by the sheer “greatness” of his personality, I believe, is very wishful thinking.

    He was for prohibition before he was against it, before he was for it, before he was against it. Virtually every word that comes out of his mouth is a result of his emotions and state of mind–at that particular moment. You really think you can take someone like that at his word?

    I’ve believed about D. Drumpf from day one that everything he does, that every word he utters is based on enriching himself, either through money or more publicity. If you read even cursory articles about the man, you see that everything he does is about HIM, and only HIM. He cares not a whit about his customers or those with whom he conducts business; he has continually shown that he would willingly screw either in a heartbeat if it meant more money or fame for him.

    Rarely in my life have I seen so many so willing to follow such an obvious charlatan. He wiggles a shiny object, utters a few nasty (dog-whistle, wink wink) comments, then sits back and giggles at the Pavlovian effect. I have NO doubt, whatever, that he believes his followers to be gullible shmucks. Those are the types he loves doing business with.

    1. Thanks brother. The race is tight in Arizona and Nevada with legalization initiatives, but after Hillary’s bump in the polls after the debate and as Bill Maher put it, Trumph’s “bump BEFORE the debates” its fairly clear that marijuana is not the only issue at hand helping Democrats win this election. We marijuana activists like to live in a bong bubble politically, but even if Hillary doesn’t bring up marijuana in any of the debates she’s clearly the better vote than the orange nuclear meltdown we just saw on the debate stage. No Drumph, screwing your voter base does not make you “smart.” But as Obi-1 said, “Who is more the fool? The fool? Or the fool that follows him?”
      And what the hell happened to Gary Johnson? It’s not like he was going to win anyway, but he couldn’t even name Vicente Fox or ANY world leader? He’s against every policy Sanders was for and he still gets double digits from Bernie defectors? Goes to show that we can lead a horse to marijuana but we can’t fix STUPID.

  7. I seen your articles at beforeitsnews.com. most of the country has never tried marijuana, rural areas are very religious and have never used alcohol, would feel guilty buying alcohol unless they can equal it to Jesus using wine, most have never smoked cigarettes, and never especially marijuana, and their life is based on Christianity and making Christians and exclusive Republican politicians as their moral guardians. The Native American Nations are on an authority trip. They expect everything to go through the pharmacy and big pharmacy authority and doctor authority, pharmacy people put their degrees at the door so everyone has to view it, Native American Nations over 400 Nations in the United States have more cops in a small city than with hundreds of thousands of people. I live on Indian land around multiple Nations and they post bill boards showing cops busting into homes with guns with words saying “We make house calls” Red states send people to prison for thinking about marijuana.I watched an hour long documentary in the Republican Red state I live in, it was showing a drug board, the people on the board were explaining that every drug received from a pharmacy is automatically registered with the states drug force, and if they think you are acting to get high it is sent into investigation and you become criminally investigated. This is how Republicans operate, and every state has between 200 and 400 law makers, and most all are Republican at least in the Red states.
    visiting over at https://www.psychologytoday.com/ they are starting to oppose marijuana saying it changes brain chemicals, I went in and said they are doing pharmacies dirty deeds. I wanted to say doing Native American deeds the Nations pharmacy I’m connected with think they are big shots and can’t hardly release a drug even if it is prescribed by the doctor, and they make sure you are see their degree of honor. They’ll never let you have pot if it becomes medical in the Red states.

  8. It’s nice to see a swing toward legalization and eventual decriminalization. That said I seriously doubt the federal will do anything except placing a thumb up,their asses with the speed of frozen molasses. After five decades I’ve become a bit jaded about politicians.

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