Some advocates of marijuana legislation are claiming victory in the Obama administration’s announcement of a laid-back approach to states with softer laws on marijuana, reports USA Today. Political opponents of marijuana legalization can no longer cite the federal government as a reason to squelch reform, said Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project. Legalization advocates are geared up for 2014 and 2016 elections with ballot initiatives in states, including Alaska, California, Maine, Nevada and Oregon, says Stephen Gutwillig of the Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates a public-health approach to drug use. Tvert expects to see legalization measures by 2016 in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana and Nevada. Drug abuse prevention groups say they will work to derail the movement.
Arthur Dean of the Community Anti-Drug Coalition, said, “We remain gravely concerned that we as a nation are turning a blind eye to the serious public health and public safety threats associated with widespread marijuana use.”