2016 is a critical year for cannabis legalization in the United States. On Election Day, voters in an unprecedented number of states will decide the outcome of cannabis-related ballot measures. Four states (Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota) could vote to legalize medical cannabis or expand existing programs to support additional patients in need. Five states that already have medical programs (Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada) could vote to legalize cannabis for responsible adult consumption.
If every one of these measures ended up succeeding at the polls, medical cannabis would become legal in a total of 28 states. Adult consumption would be legal in nine. But victory in any one of the states with cannabis on the ballot would help further reform. A win in Florida, for example, would bring legal medical cannabis to one of the most populous states on the East Coast. Success in California, a state estimated to have sixth largest economy in the world, would make adult cannabis consumption legal up and down the West Coast.
No matter what region of the United States it is located in, every state that reforms its laws to legalize medical or recreational cannabis provides additional evidence that prohibition is a failed policy, while legalization fuels economic activity, creates jobs, and generates revenue. Perhaps more importantly, legalization is the first step to reversing the social and economic harms that prohibition has inflicted on individual, families, and communities across the country.
Polling in every state voting on cannabis suggests a majority of voters in each of those states favors legalization. But with opposition mounting weeks before the election, a strong final push is needed to energize supporters, persuade undecided voters, and get those voters to the polls on November 8.
For these reasons, Privateer Holdings is proud to have donated $100,000 to support legalization campaigns across the country. By donating to campaigns in each of the nine states voting on cannabis, we hope we can do our part to further the cause of legalization nationwide, and to recognize the work of the activists, advocates, and campaigners who have worked tirelessly to bring these measures to the ballot, educate their communities, and garner statewide and national support.
We are also proud of the efforts our brands and employees have taken to support the fight to end prohibition. The Leafly team has worked hard to launch the Leafly Vote campaign earlier this month: a multimedia resource that highlights the stories of cannabis activists, explains each of the upcoming ballot measures, and provides information about how to support the campaigns, get involved, and register to vote. We hope you’ll visit the campaign online and share your own reason for supporting legalization with the hashtag #WhatsYourReason on social media.
Since 2010, our company has been guided by the core principles that cannabis is a mainstream product consumed by mainstream people, and that the end of cannabis prohibition is inevitable. If we do our part to support the movement, 2016 will be the year that the Berlin Wall of prohibition finally crumbles.