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The big winner on election night? Drugs

New Jersey, Arizona, Oregon, and Washington D.C. all voted to legalize or decriminalize drugs on election night.

The big winner on election night? Drugs
[Photo: Handatko/iStock]
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With any luck, we’ve all come to terms with the fact that we won’t know the winner of the presidential election tonight, no matter how late we stay up. It will most likely be sometime later this week at best before it’s official.

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But election night has brought several answers:

In Senate races: On a state level in Delaware, Sarah McBride became the highest-ranking openly transgender state legislator. And in Colorado, John Hickenlooper flipped the U.S. Senate seat for the state.

There have also been significant ballot initiatives that have passed, including Florida’s vote to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour (over the next six years . . . it will only go up from $8.56 an hour to $10 an hour in September 2021 and up a dollar each year following).

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Among closely watched referendums, California’s Proposition 22—which would let app-based transportation companies, such as Uber and Lyft, continue to hire drivers as contractors rather than force them to comply with a state bill classifying them as employees—had not been decided. But The Washington Post was projecting that it would pass.

But as of this writing, at 12 a.m. EST on election night, there does seem to be one clear winner: drugs.

People in Arizona, New Jersey, Montana, and South Dakota voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. (Mississippi  also has cannabis on the ballot but it hasn’t been called yet.)

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Voters in Washington D.C. approved the decriminalization of psychedelic mushrooms.

The biggest drug-based ballot initiative of the night: Oregon’s Measure 110, which reclassifies possession of any drug to be a “lesser violation resulting in a $100 fine or a completed health assessment.” The idea being that the money typically spent on arresting and incarcerating individuals for drug use can be better spent on treatment for addiction and public health.

The Oregon vote is an especially historic change for the role of drugs in crime and public health. While the wins in Arizona, New Jersey, Montana, and South Dakota tonight will certainly have a significant impact on cannabis stocks tomorrow.

About the author

Kathleen Davis is Deputy Editor at FastCompany.com. Previously, she has worked as an editor at Entrepreneur.com, WomansDay.com and Popular Photography magazine.

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