If things go as planned on Election Day, right after will come a seminal moment in American politics.
A presidential candidate could campaign only in states where some form of cannabis is legal — and expect to cruise to the White House with the 270 electoral votes needed to win.
We know all about the five states that are considering ballot measures to legalize recreational cannabis for adults 21 and over on Election Day. (And if we don’t, they are Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada.)
We also know about Florida, Arkansas, Montana, and North Dakota considering legalizing medical marijuana on some level. (In Montana, at least, it’ll be for the second time around after the state legislature picked existing medical marijuana law apart; in Florida, it’ll be the second time the question has been before voters in two years.)
But let’s take a moment to consider what this means If all state marijuana measures are approved, 84 million people will wake up the day after Election Day with new state laws allowing more access to cannabis — with 60 million people living in states with recreational cannabis access alone, as USA Today pointed out.
Let’s paint the picture a different way. If all five states with recreational cannabis ballot measures go green, 80 million Americans across nine states would live in states where adults using and growing the plant is legal. And medical? Not counting states where recreational cannabis is also legal, about 100 million Americans would have some form of access to medical cannabis — in Florida as well as Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York State, the entire West Coast, all of New England, and more and more of the upper Midwest.
Let’s look at what that means in terms of electoral politics, since that seems to be somewhat important in America these days (and is also a reflection of who lives where and under what rules). If a candidate campaigned — and won — only states where cannabis is legal in some form, the result would be an utter landslide: 335 votes from marijuana-friendly areas, compared to 203 electoral votes from the land of Greater Prohibition.
A majority of Americans. All of the swing states. The grand age of cannabis access in America is just a little more than a week away.
Do you live in a state that is voting on cannabis on Nov. 8?