2014 Election Results are in! We’re super stoked to hear that Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. have legalized marijuana bringing in a total of 4 states ending cannabis prohibition. Legalization ends decriminalization and that’s worth rejoicing!
Back in California, at the state level, several cannabis-friendly candidates were elected to office. Betty Yee – who was a strong friend of cannabis in her previous position at the Board of Equalization – won her race for controller. The controller seat is like a CFO position for the state. In that position Ms. Yee is likely to play a pivotal role in determining the financial implications of adult use legalization in 2016.
Alex Padilla, another cannabis-friendly candidate, won his race for Secretary of State. This department is responsible for several important business functions, and we hope his election will lead to improvements for cannabis businesses. Mr. Padilla, could work, for example, to improve intellectual property protections for canna-businesses by easing access to California’s Patent and Trademark Office.
Gavin Newsom has been an outspoken advocate for cannabis law reform, and has retained his seat as Lieutenant Governor. Mr. Newsom is considered by some to be a rising star in the democratic party, and we look forward to watching his political career advance in the coming years.
State initiatives went well for cannabis reform advocates. Proposition 46, which would have (among other things) increased drug testing for doctors, did not pass. Proposition 47, which reduces simple drug possession and some non-violent crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, did pass!
After Tuesday’s election we expect the East Bay to continue to be cannabis friendly. Libby Schaaf was voted in as mayor of Oakland. Ms. Schaaf has expressed support for the cannabis industry, even going so far as to host a fundraiser at Oaksterdam University. New to Oakland this year is Abel Guillen who was voted in to council district 2. Mr. Guillen has expressed tentative support for the cannabis industry; we’re cautiously optimistic that he’ll be a friend to the movement.
In San Leandro, Pauline Cutter was elected to mayor. Ms. Cutter has warmed up to cannabis over the years and has become friendly to the industry. Ms. Cutter signaled her willingness to advance the issue of medical cannabis at a fundraiser that the cannabis industry held in her honor earlier this election season. Cannabis is an important issue in San Leandro this year because the city is planning to move forward with permitting a dispensary in the previously “dry” town. With Ms. Cutter at the helm we hope that that project will go full steam ahead.
Elsewhere in the state a whole host of cannabis related measures and candidates were on the ballot. For a full rundown check out the links below.