Marijuana Election Night 2020 was the most successful election in drug policy reform history. Every statewide initiative on the ballot passed, and most by overwhelming margins.
It’s got to be the worst night of Project SAM founder and “quarterback of the anti-legalization movement” Kevin Sabet’s career.
While we thrilled in 2012 to the legalization of marijuana in the first two US states, Colorado and Washington, Sabet could console himself that Oregon rejected legalization.
In 2014 when Oregon came back to legalize, joined by Alaska and Washington D.C., Sabet could comfort himself knowing Florida’s absurd 60% approval requirement meant medical marijuana lost.
A year later in 2015, Sabet was thrilled that a poorly-conceived and badly-marketed legalization campaign in Ohio failed.
Two years later when Florida came back to pass its medical marijuana alongside North Dakota and Arkansas in the 2016 election that swept California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts into the legal column, he could at least find respite in the legalization loss in Arizona.
Even in 2018, as Michigan legalizes and the unlikely trio of Utah, Oklahoma, and Missouri join the medical marijuana list, Sabet had one win in the loss for legalization in North Dakota.
But now, in 2020, the cupboard is bare. Not a single defeat for him to hang his prohibitionist hat upon.
Medical Marijuana just exceeded 2–to–1 margins of support in South Dakota and Mississippi, even after the Mississippi legislature forced it to win two votes.
Marijuana Legalization just won with 53%–67% support and broke through in a state (South Dakota) that didn’t even have medical marijuana.
Even the decriminalization of drugs is winning on the coasts with the kinds of support that medical marijuana received two decades ago.
When Project SAM formed in the wake of legalization, I worried about the effect a focused lobby against marijuana law reform might have. Given their current track record, I’m beginning to think I should donate to them.