Black Tuesday for Drug Reform 11/8/02

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Drug reform movement leaders and funders must feel like Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt after the shellacking they took on Tuesday. The same conservative tide that delivered the Senate to the Republicans also swamped heavily-funded initiatives in three closely watched states. South Dakota's low-budget initiatives suffered the same fate, as did the New York Marijuana Reform Party's shoestring effort to obtain ballot status.

Though a bad day for drug reformers overall and an occasion for strategic rethinking, Election 2002 was not a total wash, as DC, San Francisco and Massachusetts show.

Reform movement funders, leaders, and bases alike are beginning the post-mortems on an election that saw momentum for drug reform come up against a brick wall. The fact that millions of dollars were spent on failed electoral efforts, while grassroots groups go begging for funds, is certain to be part of an intense debate on drug reform strategy -- as well the fact that 19 out of 24 major initiative campaigns overall have passed over the last six years.

DRCNet will be covering the analyses of what went right and what went wrong, but this week your correspondent has been on the road, first to Las Vegas, NV where a hoped for victory celebration turned into a wake, and then to Anaheim, CA to cover the Marijuana Policy Project/Students for Sensible Drug Policy conference, today through Sunday, November 8-10. (Come out to the Hilton Anaheim and register on site if you can make it!) What follows below is a "just the facts, ma'am" look at the election results. Expect the Week Online to delve more deeply into the post-election debate on the movement's direction in coming issues.

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Issue #262, 11/8/02 Editorial: More to This Vote Than Meets the Eye | Black Tuesday for Drug Reform | Arizona Steps Back as Decrim Initiative Loses, Anti-Reform Sentencing Initiative Wins | Legal Pot in Nevada? Not This Year | New York: Pataki Victory Swamps Dems, Golisano, Marijuana Reform Party, Libertarians | Ohio "Treatment Not Jail" Initiative Runs Into Drug War Buzzsaw | No Hemp, No New Rights for Defendants in South Dakota | Wisconsin: Libertarian Thompson Gets Ten Percent | DC Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Treatment Not Jail Initiative | Massachusetts Voters Tell Reps to Support Marijuana Decrim | San Francisco Voters Ask City to Look at Growing Its Own | FAMM Victory: Amendment to Cap Federal Guideline Sentences for Low-Level Drug Offenders is Now Law | Colombian Campaign for Drug Legalization | Anti-Prohibitionists Meet Human Rights Advocates and Political Leaders at Albania Congress of Transnational Radical Party | Newsbrief: Nordic Prohibitionists Beginning Counter-Campaign Supporting UN Drug Conventions | Web Scan: Forbes on Hope Taft, Newsday on Tony Papa, New Scientist on Cannabis, Raich v. Ashcroft Lawsuit Docs | Action Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision, Tulia, Salvia Divinorum | The Reformer's Calendar

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