While the Ohio measure to legalize marijuana did not pass, this week, the Washington State measure to wrest tax limitations out of a recalcitrant legislature did indeed succeed, with a 54 percent win.
Win some, lose some.
But in both these cases, there is some evidence for a general smartening up of the voting public.
With Ohio’s Measure 103, the support for cannabis legalization, a few weeks before Election Day, seemed strong. But the more voters looked at the measure, the more they caught a whiff of stink — and it wasn’t skunk weed. It was crony capitalism and insider favoritism. So, while a solid majority reasonably favors legalization — even in Ohio — it strikes most reasonable people that the measure’s secondary provision of setting up a monopolistic/oligopolistic production cartel is as anti-freedom as the legalizations is pro.
Smart folks saw through the proposal. Cannabis legalization is proceeding, state by state. Better results for legalization next time?
Perhaps, provided a better measure is offered.
Washington’s I-1366, on the other hand, had several levels to it, too, but they worked together. Voters seeking a constitutional tax limit, got it — or, if the legislature balks at delivering it as a future referendum (as the measure instructs) then the initiative’s main feature would kick in and the sales tax would be lowered. Low-tax voters get low taxes either way, legislature cooperating or resisting.
As I’ve explained some time back, repeated legislative betrayal had forced Evergreen State super-activist Tim Eyman to concoct this rather clever ploy.
In both Ohio and Washington, what voters voted against was against politics-as-usual — and that is good, no?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.