You’ve probably been too busy biting your nails over the results of the presidential election to notice that last night was a pretty decisive win on the road toward nationwide weed legalization. Every state measure regarding weed on this year’s ballot passed — further proof that America, by and large, is finally ready to admit it’s down with smoking weed.
Vox reports that four states, Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota voted to legalize recreational marijuana, bringing the total number of weed legal states in the U.S. to 15 plus Washington D.C, and voters in Mississippi and South Dakota voted overwhelmingly to legalize medical marijuana, bringing the total number of states that have legalized medicinal marijuana to 35.
Last night wasn’t just a huge win for weed though. The night also served as a rejection of the decades-long war on drugs, as Washington D.C. voted to decriminalize psychedelic plants and Oregon became the first state in modern history to decriminalize all drugs — including cocaine and heroin.
According to statistics gathered by the Center for American Progress, one-fifth of the entire population of incarcerated individuals — which are disproportionately Black Americans — are serving time for a drug charge with 1.15 million people on probation or parole for drug related-offenses, with the overall number of Americans arrested for possession tripling since 1980, resulting in 1.3 million arrests per year in 2015. So this is a huge win on the side of drugs and a repudiation of Nixon’s costly and discriminatory war on drugs.