Tuesday was election day in some parts of the United States, and while the 2017 elections aren't as important as the ones next year, there were still some races of note. In fact, if you are a marijuana advocate, then Tuesday was a pretty big victory. Here's a look at all the places where marijuana won this week.
The biggest and most obvious winner for marijuana was the New Jersey governor's race. Democrat Phil Murphy won the race by a considerable margin. Murphy has promised to legalize marijuana within the first 100 days he's in office, so it's possible by April New Jersey will be in the same category as Colorado, Oregon, Washington and all the other states with recreational marijuana.
The Virginia governor's race was also won by a Democrat, Ralph Northam, and also by a considerable margin. Northam isn't quite as pro-marijuana as Murphy, but he has promised to decriminalize the drug while in office and has also touted the medical benefits of cannabis. So while it isn't nearly as exciting as the news in New Jersey, it's still a step in the right direction
In a city election, marijuana dispensaries earned a major victory as voters agreed to eliminate several restrictions placed on the industry. The approved laws will allow dispensaries to open within 500 feet of each other and religious institutions and also eliminates a rule that the city must hold a public hearing before a dispensary can open. So now Detroit citizens will have an easier time accessing their medical marijuana.
While marijuana remains illegal in Ohio, the city of Athens voted to decriminalize possession of the drug. And unlike some decriminalization laws that still have fines in place for larger possession amounts, all fines are entirely gone in Athens.
Voters in Philadelphia elected Lawrence Krasner to district attorney. Krasner opposes mass incarceration and has stated in several interviews that he wants to focus on more serious crimes and give less attention to marijuana infractions.
Rocky Ford, Colorado
While recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado, there's also a law that allows local governments to prohibit cannabis in their jurisdictions. Rocky Ford was one city that banned recreational marijuana sales, but still allowed it medicinally. But on election day, voters decided enough was enough and that they should start reaping the benefits with the rest of the state, and finally allowed recreational marijuana sales.
Considering how few elections actually took place on Tuesday, this is a pretty healthy amount of victories for the marijuana movement. Let's hope 2018 will bring even more!