The 2014 Midterm Elections led to the approval of measures such as marijuana legalization in Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C., a ban on hydraulic fracturing in Denton, Texas, and a shift in the way California defines offenses, such as drug possession.
Oregon became the third state to legalize the “possession, use and sale of recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over,” according to the Huffington Post.
The Alaska Dispatch reported that voters in Alaska approved legalizing recreational use of marijuana “by about 52 percent in favor to 48 percent opposed, with 100 percent of the state’s precincts reporting.”
According to USA Today, the measure to legalize marijuana in Washington D.C. was “overwhelmingly approved” by voters, and will apply to sections of the district that are not considered “federal land.”
Although the measure to legalize medical marijuana in Florida received 57% approval, it did not receive the necessary 60%, in order to pass.
Florida Today reported that voters “narrowly rejected” the legalization of medical marijuana, “after a surge of ads saying the ballot initiative was riddled with holes,” which cost $6.2 million, and had the backing of a Las Vegas casino magnate, Sheldon Adelson.
Following the elections, Denton became the first city in the state of Texas to ban hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” The Fort Worth Star Telegram reported that 58.6 percent of voters approved an ordinance that “will drastically restrict drillers’ attempts to tap the rich natural gas reserves within the city limits.”
A measure to label foods containing genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), appeared on the ballots in Colorado and Oregon. It was rejected in Colorado, and is still “too close to call” in Oregon. The Oregonian reported that the measure to label GMOs “trailed 49 percent to 51 percent,” with nearly 80 percent of votes counted.
According to Reuters, this outcome came after corporate food and agriculture interests, such as Monsanto and DuPont, “poured more than $36 million into anti-labeling campaigns in the two states.”
Voters in California approved a measure that redefines certain offenses that were considered felonies, such as shoplifting, fraud, and possession of small amounts of drugs, including heroin and cocaine, as misdemeanor.
The Huffington Post reported that as a result of the measure, as many as 10,000 people “could be eligible for early release from state prisons,” and the expectation is that courts “will annually dispense around 40,000 fewer felony convictions.”
Ben Swann joins correspondents Erin Ade, Edward Harrison, Abby Martin, and Tyrel Ventura, from RT News, to discuss the ballot measures: