In a different take on prospects for more marijuana legalization, the Los Angeles Times says that “legalization measures are teetering in Florida, Oregon and Alaska, states where supporters were confident of victory only a few months ago.” (Earlier this week, the New York Times suggested that measures on next week’s ballot would turn the tide to legalization across the nation. The Los Angeles newspaper says pot advocates were not anticipating a multimillion-dollar wager against them by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson or a spike in voter anxiety amid bureaucratic stumbles in regulating the nascent recreational pot market.
“This is turning out to be a unique and very difficult election year,” said Aaron Houston of the Ghost Group, a marijuana-focused investment company. Ballot measures, he said, are under stress from the same midterm challenge afflicting all political forces on the left and their causes: an uninspired base of voters. Advocates acknowledge that some voters are also wary of how legalization has worked in Colorado and Washington. Legalization has not set off crime sprees in those states or a surge in stoned drivers crashing on roadways, as opponents had warned, but there have been plenty of less-than-favorable headlines about marijuana-infused candies and sodas and tourists going on drug binges.