(FinancialPress) — Marijuana may still be illegal at a federal level, still be a Schedule I-classified drug and may be labeled as a “life-wrecking“ substance by the attorney general of the U.S. – but the legalization movement achieved some huge strides over the past week. A scattered-out-but-significant amount of MJ-related efforts passed on Wednesday, including pro-cannabis candidates being elected and reforms being passed.
MJ advocates still see a long road ahead to reach normalization and legalization, but still, the advances are undeniable – and suppor is increasing for the initiative to treat cannabis the same was as alcohol and cigarettes instead of having it in a category similar to heroin.
These are the places that are spearheading those efforts:
NEW JERSEY elected Democrat candidate Phil Murphy over conservative Chris Christie on Thursday night for the role of Governor. Murphy‘s campaign included legalizing recreational marijuana for those over 21 years of age.
In his victory speech, Murphy doubled down: “The criminalization of marijuana has only served to clog our courts and cloud people’s futures, so we will legalize marijuana,” he said. “And while there are financial benefits, this is overwhelmingly about doing what is right and just.”
VIRGINIA chose Army vet and pediatrician Ralph Northam as the state‘s governor on Wednesday, with 54% of the voters opting for him as state leader. His endorsement for decriminalizing cannabis was one of the main platforms of his candidacy. He believes the current criminalization of the drug as a factor that “disproportionately hurts people of color“, and is a firm believer in the health benefits the plant can bring to the populace.