CA Cities Vote for Marijuana Reform

Nov. 7th, 2006: Marijuana supporters scored victories in yesterday's local elections in California, as voters in Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz all approved measures to make marijuana lowest enforcement priority.

Santa Monica approved Measure Y by 65-35%, Santa Barbara approved Measure P 65-35%, and Santa Cruz approved a somewhat stronger initiative, Measure K, which calls on the state to "tax and regulate" marijuana for adult use, by 64-36 (See The California city initiatives were modeled on Oakland's Measure Z, which passed with 65% of the vote in 2004. In the East Bay city of Albany, voters approved an advisory measure to allow a medical marijuana dispensary by 53 - 47% (Measure D).

California NORML called the initiatives a popular mandate for reducing marijuana penalties. "With our prisons overflowing, the time has come to end felony prison sentences for minor marijuana offenses" commented Dale Gieringer, California NORML coordinator Dale Gieringer. Calfornia currently has over 1400 marijuana offenders in state prison, over 14 times as many as in 1980.

Elsewhere, voters in Missoula county, Montana, approved a "lowest priority" measure by 53-47%, and voters in Eureka Springs, Arkanasa, voted 62-38% to decriminalize possession of one ounce or less to a misdemeanor.

In other states, voters rejected more ambitious initiatives to legalize adult use of marijuana. In Nevada, Question 7, which would have attempted to establish a full-scale legal distribution system, won 44% of the vote, the highest ever for a legalization initiative. In Colorado, Amendment 44, which would have legalized adult possession, lost 40 - 60%.

South Dakota became the first state ever to reject a medical marijuana initiative, by the narrow margin of 48-52%.

Election results posted at

CA NORML 2261 Market St. #278A San Francisco CA 94114