Renowned Travel Author Rick Steves Urges Voters to Back Marijuana Legalization Initiatives in November

Internationally renowned travel guru, author, and NORML Board member Rick Steves released a video message today urging voters this November to decide in favor of a number of statewide ballot proposals seeking to legalize the use of marijuana for either medical or adult use. 

In his message, Steves calls the criminalization of marijuana a “counterproductive law” with racist origins, and praises state-level legalization policies for having raised tax revenue, mitigated the size of the illicit market, and promoted civil liberties. “We’re glad we legalized [marijuana in Washington state in 2012] and so are citizens in lots of other states. And with this election, in your state you can legalize too. Be sure to vote, and vote ‘yes’ on marijuana.”

Voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota will decide on adult-use legalization ballot initiatives on Election Day. Voters in Mississippi and South Dakota will decide this November on medicalization ballot measures. 

In a text accompanying his video message, Steves wrote: “I’ve campaigned for marijuana legalization in six different states — Washington (2012), Oregon (2014), Massachusetts and Maine (2016), and Illinois and Michigan (2018) — and in each one, we’ve been successful. And for 2020, as I’m doing that work from home, I’ll be ‘barn-storming’ virtually in four states: New Jersey, Arizona, South Dakota, and Montana. We’re polling well in all four states and fully expect to win — as long as people who believe it’s time to update the racist and counter-productive current laws get out to vote. 

“Partnering with MPP (the Marijuana Policy Project, in South Dakota and Montana) and NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws — of which I’m a longtime board member — in Arizona and New Jersey), I’ve committed myself to ten solid days of media work (from September 21 through September 30) in these four states. 

“I see this work as a civic duty…an act of good citizenship. If you care about fighting racism, defending civil liberties, and replacing a thriving black market with a highly regulated and taxed legal one, I hope you can work to elect politicians who favor an end to the prohibition on marijuana with this year’s election.”

NORML’s Erik Altieri said: “We are thrilled to have Rick Steves taking time out of his busy schedule to emphasize that marijuana laws are a tragic, costly, and counterproductive prohibition for our country. Rick knows, as do the majority of voters in this country, that tt is time to end this failed policy and legalize marijuana.”

Further information and additional videos are available at here. A livestream campaign kick-off event with Rick Steves will take place on Monday, September 21, on the NORML Facebook page at 9pm est.