2012 – the year America went to pot?

By Clark French

Whether you are a believer in 2012 phenomenon or not it is clear that something is going on at the moment. There seems to have been major changes in global public awareness of cannabis and other drugs of late. We have seen a plain out attack on some of the main “jewels” within the cannabis empire such as the weed pass in Holland and the raids by the DEA on Californian and Coloradan dispensaries which in my opinion, is nothing more then a blatant attempt to try and stem the tide of cannabis regulation globally.

Medical cannabis dispensary

Legal cannabis

The 6th of November will see voters in Washington state, Colorado and Oregon all vote on ballots on if they want to end criminal sanctions on up to an ounce for people who wish to consume cannabis for any purpose. Polls show that the initiatives are heavily supported with over 50% in favour in both Colorado and Washington State. Is this the end of prohibition as we know it? Well it seems it could be, things are looking more hopeful at least. Unlike the failed Californian Initiative 219 in 2010, the Federal Anti-Drug Authorities have declined to discuss the Initiatives in all three states.

“If Washington or Colorado wins in November, and both have a good chance to do so, it is going to be transformative in the way we think about marijuana policy and even outside” – Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Here at NORML UK we are extremely excited about the up and coming ballots and wish to send our best wishes and good luck to all the hard working activists who have laboured on this most important of issues in the US. With the emergence of an entirely new and credible cannabis campaign in the UK, I think the future has never looked so good for those of use who wish to consume cannabis for whatever reason we see fit.

Posted in News.


  1. It’s looking very hopeful – this really could be a watershed moment. This should be the start of the domino effect… but a v-e-r-y s-l-o-w one!

    I do wonder whether the HASC Inquiry may be holding out to see what happens in the States? Could do nothing but benefit the chances of real change over here… we can live in hope! You never know, they *may* surprise us all… but then Cameron will ignore their findings… which will make him look even more of a dick because he said we should consider discriminalising cannabis & ecstasy when he was part of the previous HASC Inquiry into drugs.

  2. A foot in the door – legalisation in these states is just the start of it. There will be an upcoming battle with the US Federal government which the Feds can only loose. That battle will likely hasten the speed of change with more states voting on initiatives in 2016 and 2018. So we may get legalisation in America by 2020 then in the UK some time after that (we have much much further to go than America with public awareness etc). Maybe 8 to 10 years is a realistic target.

    If you don’t like the sound of that put down your spiff and do something about it – I have very little time to help but I like to comment and Blog wherever I can. If you can do nothing else saturating the web and social media with good positive ideas helps. Making a big enough noise will eventually frighten politicians into thinking opposing cannabis reform is a vote loser. They follow like sheep so if you can move one or two the others will follow. The politicians have gone quiet on this issue so that means they are afraid of getting caught out on the wrong side of the debate – that domino is wobbling and waiting to be pushed.

    Good Luck to those states voting for human rights and medical compassion with regard to cannabis.

    The NORML.org (US NORML) blog is giving the results out live or you can watch Pot TV for a more light hearted look at the goings on – http://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2012/10/30/Watch-LIVE-Election-Night-2012-Coverage-Pot-TV
    (POT TV is based next door to Washington state in Vancouver BC and has a range of shows following the changing marijuana situation in Canada and the USA – often informative and sometimes very funny – Especially “Under the Influence” show)

    • “we have much much further to go than America with public awareness etc”

      I’m not sure that we do. The most recent polls in the USA showed support for full legalization of cannabis at just over 50%, whereas the UK poll commissioned by the Lib Dems for Drug Policy Reform a couple of years ago showed 70% supporting either ‘light regulation’ or ‘strict regulation’ (both of which count as some sort of legalization).

      Our problem is not the public awareness so much as the fact that we do not get to pass laws by ballot initiative here, and must therefore first convince our politicians to a degree that the Washingtonians and Coloradans didn’t have to.

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