Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Sunday, October 23, 2016

Liberals Score Big Victories In Ballot Initiatives

Liberals Score Big Victories In Ballot Initiatives

In addition to holding on to the White House and expanding the Democratic majority in the Senate, American liberals also scored huge victories on Election Day in ballot initiatives across the country.

Voters in Maine and Maryland made history by affirming marriage equality by popular vote. Although six states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage through the legislatures or courts, Tuesday was the first time that marriage equality had ever won at the ballot box. In Maine, with 78 percent of votes counted by Wednesday morning, 53.4 percent supported the initiative legalizing same-sex marriage compared to 46.6 percent opposed. In Maryland, with nearly all of the votes counted, 52 percent supported the referendum upholding the state’s law legalizing same-sex marriage, while 48 percent opposed it.

Marriage equality also scored a victory in Minnesota, where voters rejected an amendment to the state Constitution which would have defined marriage as being strictly between a man and a woman.

In another victory for progressives, voters in Montana and Colorado sharply rebuked the Supreme Court’s infamous Citizens United decision. In Montana, a ballot initiative asserting that corporations are not people entitled to Constitutional rights (and directing Montana’s Congressional delegation to introduce a Constitutional amendment to that effect) had 75 percent approval with about half of the vote counted, according to the Billings Gazette. Colorado voters also passed a similar measure.

Voters in Colorado and Washington voted to approve state initiatives legalizing marijuana, another issue which is supported by most progressives. The actual impact of the initiatives is unclear, however; although marijuana is now legal in these two states, it is still illegal in the United States of America.

In response to the ballot initiatives, Justice Department spokeswoman Nanda Chitre said in a statement:

The department’s enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged. In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. We are reviewing the ballot initiatives and have no additional comment at this time.

Although sources close to President Obama suggested over the summer to GQ’s Marc Ambinder that the president would pivot to the drug war in his second term, marijuana’s legal future is still very much up in the air.

As Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper — who opposed the legalization initiative — said after it passed, “Federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly.”

Photo credit: AP/Ted S. Warren

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2012 The National Memo
  • thin_bluine

    Wow, Legalizing marijuana, I am somewhat a liberal but not that far. That is the most ridiculous thing ever and kind of makes me want to join the right wingers. But hey other than that go Obama/Biden.

    • On the other hand, think about the impact on the economy in licencing, growing, packaging, transporting, and a luxury tax.

    • Germansmith

      Have you ever used pot? Maybe you should before judging
      By the way and talking about right wingers. Do you know Libertarian support stopping the War on Drugs and legalizing marijuana?

    • Replying to thin_bluine

      This should be interesting. The Republicans are always stating that they believe in States rights, to the point that it is preferred over Federal rights.

      I cannot wait to see the response from the far right and the ultra-conservatives.

  • Germansmith

    Marijuana is not worst (and sometimes more benign) than alcohol.
    Prohibition did not worked and created organized crime and made criminals and hypocrites of most citizens at the time . The War on Drugs is having similar effects and costing us a billions to enforce and incarcerate people.
    Pot usage should be legal, controlled and tax same as alcohol.

    If some employers and organizations still feel they should test their employees, I am OK with that. Since Pot stay in your system, it is easier to find a pot smoker than an alcoholic.

  • To thin – marijuana has been legalized, but it’s still a Federal offense. So, careful. The thing is, people in the “cowboy country” frame of mine do NOT REALIZE that when you make something commonly available, it becomes far less popular. Denmark learned this a long time ago. But, they are a nation that believes in rights for everyone, and as a nation work as one. They WON’T ALLOW one of THEIR women who’s pregnant and unmarried to go without help. They WON”T ALLow their seniors to be bullied in order to give the ultra rich more houses, more cars, and all the other greedy things. You may scoff at this, but REMEMBER, Denmark is the HAPPIEST NATION ON THIS EARTH.

  • Thin_bluine..I want to let you know…marijuna, is for children and adults with Tourettes Syndrome…when people hit on themselves..and it calms the nerves down and just one puff off of a joint you don’t get any higher…and it used to calm the nervous system down..and it is safer to take than a lot of, get off of those cigarettes and alcohol….and get on a joint…you will be better doing that..and mind you…I don’t smoke or smoke a joint…but, I am around the handicapped people…that it would help.

  • Congratulations to President Obama, VP Joe Biden, and all of the senatorial candidates in their success yesterday. The American people has spoken. It is time for us to set aside all partisan politics and petty, treacherous obstuctionism and work together for the healing and recovery of America. We should be about America’s business from here on out, and if the small-minded blocking and stalmating and filabustering raise its ugly head, we should hold those responsible accountable for working against America and the American people. Americans need to unify to let those who represent us know that they work for us. We are they bosses. We do not work for their enrichment. Corporations, businesses, and industries should be made to know they it is us who they depend on for their bottom line, and if they outsource and take jobs away from Americans, we should boycott them or refuse to deal with them altogether. We should let them know that this is a government of the people, for the people, and by the people, and we should demonstrate our democracy from here on out.

    • I basically agree with your assessment, but I detect a hidden threat here. The other guys can continue to hold their point of view, but they should realize that they didn’t win the Presidency or the Senate. So compromise is a good idea; otherwise they will lose more votes

      • exactly, g45. the division and hatred engendered by the fringe element is the threat. we are americans, man, every last one of us. the same way we unify to defeat a national or international threat, we should deal with the internal threat the same way. america should be our agenda, not partisan politics. how can anything get down when we’re pulling in opposite directions? at this time in the shape we’re in, it should be onward, forward, progression, together for our country and for the future of our children.

      • Ahhh The Price Of War!!! Here’s A Clue Don’t Declare War On Women Cause We Don’t Just Get Mad, WE VOTE!!!!

    • Yes It Is A Great Being On The Right Side Of History!! Thank You All For Standing United Against Hate!!! Yes There’s Lot More Work To Do !! First On The List Is To Tell Congress Now That Their Little Plot Didn’t Work Out To Well For Them , They Either Start Doing Some Real Work On Getting This Country Back On It’s Feet Or Start Getting Their Resumes In Order Cause We Are Coming For Them In The Next Go Round!!! We Will Get Rid Of All Of The Filibusters And Blockers In 2014!!! We Don’t Want To Move Backwards We Want To Move Our Country FORWARD!!!!

      • 100% Fern. you’re a phenomenal woman.

  • Everyone I know from the 70’s who smoked marijuana continuously for thirty-five, forty years are walking around with respirators today. Smoking one joint of marijuana is the equvalent of smoking two King Edwards cigars and inhaling their smoke deeply. It’s worse than smoking cigarettes because they are unfiltered, and the amount of tar that enters the lungs is the same tar that causes emphezema, and chronic smoker’s cough that kills. The amount of heart disease is causes is strikingly similar to the heart disease caused from additive chain smoking, let alone the cellular and nueronal destruction to the brain and the nervous system. Just look at the finger tips of a marijuana smoker and see the amount of tar on the tips of their fingers. More than that, just take a look at Snoop Dog, Lil Wayne, and Willie Nelson, notorious marijuana users. Enough said. . .

    • Don’t doubt that some of your observations are valid, but it comes down to education if you want to change behavior. Look how smoking has changed, from being cool, to being a disgusting habit. Same thing happening to sugar, which is causing so much diabetes.

    • Sand_Cat

      But tobacco and alcohol each kill way, way more people every year than all illegal drugs combined. Maybe you should think about that.

      If people want to kill themselves, despite all the hypocritical crap, they should have the right to do so. Some of those people walking around with respirators might want to do this, but the same power-mad hypocrites who persecute marijuana users are determined to stop that as well.

      And where do your claims come from? Can you cite a reputable scientific source about the harm from pot, or is this just more made-up “facts” like most of those used by the drug warriors and others who whine about “government overreach” but just can’t seem to let other people go about their business without interference?

    • northroader1775

      No not enough said Robert…There has never been an unbiased (READ not sponsored by the governemnt) study that confirms even one of your assertions. The ?fact? that your 70s era friends are on respirators not with standing. You have to smoke an enormous amount of pot to get anywhere near the tar in two cigars..and BTW the weed available today is truely one hit wonder so two puffs and sit down and let the smiling begin, not at all like the stuff from the huge joint cheech and chong era. Now days even daily smokers are only hitting one or two pipes a day…about half a joint max. I’m not a lil wayne fan but snoop and willie are actually very talented individuals who use weed to tap into their creative side. I wouldn’t change a thing about either one of them. Weed is realitively mild when compared to alchohol, and when you take into account it’s real medicinal uses it is an invaluable addition to your herbal shelf. I say let anyone who wants to grow it for personal use go completely unmolested and for those who want to grow it for sale get them a license and a tax number and turn them loose.

      And in response to the comment above about companies testing employees, that should and probably will be illegal. You don’t get high or drunk at work that’s bad. Smokers don’t come to work hung over, they usually show up well rested and in a good mood.

    • DurdyDawg

      Not Enough Said.. You’re classifying everybody who smokes pot with the few who have no desire to control their habit rather have their habit control them. And where did you get this belief that marijuana is just as bad as cigars or cigarettes? There are millions of cigarette smokers just in this nation who has smoked for 10, 20 even 50 years without any problems.. I’ve smoked for over fifty years and every year my chest xray shows normal pink lungs.. No throat problems, etc. I also smoke pot for nearly as much with no bad effects.. The only problems I have with both is the snub noses out in the world calling me a loser and a potential murderer by getting in the vicinity of a non-smoker.

  • These same sex marriage laws, are really to provide an actual and virtual “equality” among the gay and lesbian community. It is a peculiar characteristic of “religious” people that they cannot abide having anything besides their interpretation of religion, in effect.
    It could be attributed to a fundamentally weak belief that forces them to try to manage other lives, to their standards. It also can be noted that the more they follow all the religion’s rules, the more, it seems, they feel compelled to proselytize others. To the point of death, in some cases.

  • Don’t know if legalizing marijuana can be called “liberal”, but prohibition, as mentioned earlier demonstrated the highly inefficient, and expensive way to deal with human desires. Education, and some regulation, will be the solution that puts a whole bunch of serious criminals as well as prisons out of business

  • RobertCHastings

    The ballot initiatives that were successful clearly demonstrate that folks aroound this great country are turning a little more to the left, demonstrating that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are not just platitudes applied to the select few, but to everyone. National polls show that the time is coming for an end to inequality in marriage and its associated rights. Recently, a Federal Appeals Court said the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. It is only a matter of time before this case reaches the Supreme Court for final disposition. While it may be unpopular with many, ending the War on Drugs (at least marijuana) is about to see its day, also. Marijuana, if controlled like cigarets and liquor, will put an end to much of the drug-related violence in this country. During the years of Prohibition, violence and corruption due to the illegal importation, manufacture, distribution and sale of alcohol was similar to what we see today with marijuana – it should be apparent that we cannot legislate morality. The Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court was as shameful as their decision in 2008 for George W. Bush in the Florida vote recount, and equally misguided. Corporations are NOT people and they do not under even the loosest interpretation merit the Constitutional rights of an individual. Have you ever seen a corporation with a driver’s license, or a birth certificate, or a certificate of naturalization?

  • Melvin Chatman

    Let’s PRAY for our President, some NUTS out there really HATE this Man and ANYTHING is possible!
    I have been “personally” warned to look out for “Marshal Law” by a NUT while I was Fishing – he was “Stocked & Loaded” and ready to take this Country BACK.
    When I woke up this morning, the Country was still in the same place, same Planet, same Universe, but he says somebody stole it and RUSH is RIGHT. (Sad)

  • northroader1775

    fully 55% of Mexican drug cartel’s income is from weed sales in the USA. We could wipe them out with the stroke of a pen, but we keep on filling the prisons with people who are not hurting anyone not even themselves, we keep paying upwards of $75000 per year per inmate, we keep inmates who are trained and skilled workers in prison where they don’t hepl build an economy, where they don’t pay taxes, where they don’t contribute.

    Does this sound smart to anyone???

    • DurdyDawg

      The only way the cartel is going to be affected (with the pot change) is if the state / g’ment competes. In the past, medicinal pot was worlds away in price to street weed.. if the g’ment continues this high priced trend then they will be defeating the purpose of eliminating street sales. Charging two – three hundred dollars for some (primo) marijuana will only draw the wealthy (which I might add, not as many smoke the weed) and those who smoke will continue to buy it off the street for 1/3 the price (even though it wouldn’t be as potent). Fact is, they’ve been satisfied with a Volkswagen all this time, why would they now consider a Mercedes Benz because it becomes available? The state MUST compete and even under sell the street in order to affect the cartel and by doing that, they will defeat them using that tactic, without firing a shot. Then they can crush the cartel by focusing on real drugs that are chemically changed through process (which marijuana has never been). I do agree with you on the price of incarceration but $75,000.00 is a bit exaggerated, however there are some death row, serial killers (on life without parole) and other extreme dangerous felons who must have extra protection (for their safety as well as the general population) who gets very close to that 75G’s but there are millions of simple pot users that it takes somewhere near 20G’s a year.. And 20G’s times millions becomes unnecessarily outrageous and indicates (at least to me) that somewhere in the judicial process, some one(s) are getting rich off this type of fraud.

  • northroader1775

    do some research…it is the best path by far…seriously don’t just take someone elses word for it…go look around there is study after study that says it is harmless and should be legal.

  • northroader1775

    Libratarians are about doing what makes sense money wise…this is a rediculously costly war that was lost before ronny started it.


    Wait A Second

    Don’t pump up too big unless you realize how badly the American Taliban Republicans shot themselves in the feet.

    One, 89% of the Republican vote was cast by whiteys while only 59% of Democrat vote was cast by whites. Meaning that the GOP had no chance of winning when you take into account their stance on immigration and Mittens’ dislike of the low and middle class 47%.

    In other words, instead of going for the minority vote, the old, old, used up GOP scared it away and made it impossible for Mittens to win the election.

    And, they were supposed to be the smart guys, ha, ha, ha…. Dumb is more like it and they will loose elections until they get a little smarter about demographics and human reproduction, since minorities are growing faster that white people.

  • The Republicans need to pull their heads out of the ground and look around, it’s 2012, not 1912.
    This ongoing women’s right’s abortion saga, is an example of how far back they’re trying to push this country.
    The 19th Amendment wasn’t ratified until, August 18, 1920
    It took 42 years, but it happened.
    The 19th Amendment grants women the right to vote.

    • You Got That Right The War On Women Made Them Lose Big Time!!! We Got 20 New Women In The Senate All The Rape Dudes LOST!!! We Just Don’t Get Mad We VOTE!!!! LOL

  • rock on, my friend. i’ll help you across the street rolling your respirator behind you.

  • i get my facts from seeing it for myself. i’m not going to debate you on something that you want to do. you can smoke yourself to hell for all i care. i wouldn’t give damn if you lit up right next to me. you’re killing yourself and you have a right to do that. all of the justifications and rationalizations for killing yourself is your business. i expressed what i feel and what i know, and i’m not trying to convince you or prove a point to you. i’ll express myself and don’t give a damn how you feel about it. just like you’re for it, there’s many more who are not. we just have to agree to disagree, and if you don’y like it, there not much you can do about it, can you?

  • you’re correct exP. I think they pulled a Hoover. they have damaged their credibility so badly, i think it’ll take twenty, thirty years for them to refit themselves.

  • tobewan

    The President got what we voted for – four more years to complete the work began.
    As for Romney, Chris Ruddy’s Newsweek article on “Why Romney lost” served to prove my ongoing analysis, as follows: Another constant factor about Mitt Romney, even though an adult, his child likeness repeatedly showed his ineptness toward others and an incompetence to be ‘Commander-in-chief’. Not a team player, He continually needed to depend on others. Unfit as such to be president.
    Pres. Obama has proved his ability and competence to lead, even skillfully working around a totally uncooperative Congress, he got us jobs they didn’t want him to get. It remains now to be seen if the high-handed Congress will be willing to compromise and cooperate.

    • Romney Lost Cause He’s A Lying Flip Flopping Shape Shifter, And A Sociopath Who’s Still Gutting Out America And Shipping American Jobs Overseas To China Plus We Did Not See Those Back Tax Returns!!!! LOL Now He Can Keep Hiding Them Cause He’s NEVER Going To Be President Of The USA!!!

  • msrita

    There will be a recount in Florida. Romney would still lose. They can’t believe they lost.

    They did not read who Voted for Obama.

    97% Black

    71% Hispanic

    People between 18 and 35 70%

    59% Asians

    48% Jewish

  • we need to keep posting and opening peoples minds to walking in someone elses shoes.

  • im so happy! victory for the liberals

  • commserver

    As long as the Federal Government is enforcing the law against marijuana, which they are doing in California, then these initiatives are going nowhere.