Online resources for US voters who care about cannabis reform

Online resources for US voters who care about cannabis reform
Credit: Nicole Gray

The 2020 US general elections are fast approaching in what might be the most crucial cycle yet for cannabis reform. Candidates up and down the ballot will have a direct impact on cannabis policy across the country and it’s up to the people to make their voice heard.

There’s a presidential election happening too.

If you’ve got everything sorted out – who you’re going to vote for, how the individual candidates intend to vote on cannabis issues, etc. – then you’re all set. But, for the rest of us, here’s a little help.

First, let’s make sure you’re registered to vote. Despite what you’ve heard on Twitter, it has never been easier to register or check your voter registration. There’s a few different ways you can go about doing this, but to simplify things: go here.

That link takes you to HeadCount’s Cannabis Voter Project. It works as a one-stop shop for political potheads seeking information. There’s a big green “register to vote” button that’ll get you sorted if you’ve just turned 18 or haven’t registered in the past. And, if you’ve previously registered, now’s the time to double-check your registration – you can do that on the site as well.

The reason we’re so keen on this site is that it also has a state-by-state breakdown of how politicians have previously voted in regards to cannabis reform.

The initiative to get out the stoner vote might strike non-imbibers as comical or niche, but the cannabis market in the US alone was worth an approximate $13.6 billion in 2019. For perspective, the US video game market was worth about $40 billion that same year.

When you consider the fact that cannabis is still a schedule-one controlled substance in the US (meaning the federal government treats it the same as heroin and methamphetamine for policy purposes), there remains significant amount of room for capital growth.

One person who understands the importance of getting cannabis users registered to vote is Higher Ground TV creator Michael Stusser. In partnership with Seattle-based Saints Joints, which now has locations in California and Oklahoma, his company has created a dead-simple product called the “Ballot Box” that connects purchasers directly to the Cannabis Voter Project to register them to vote.

Per a press release from Higher Ground TV, the Ballot Box is “a high-end box of cannabis joints designed to smash stoner stereotypes by registering people to vote. In addition to five premium pre-rolls, the Ballot Box contains a QR code that immediately registers voters, a mini version of the Bill of Rights, and non-partisan information about voting and elections.”

Higher Ground TV, an upcoming series described as a combination of “The Daily Show and Good Morning America, just with more stoned people,” is a pro-cannabis program that will feature comedy segments and interviews show-casing celebrities, comedians, and cannabis experts.

An increasing number of US citizens are turning to cannabis and CBD for relief from myriad medical conditions. Unfortunately the current state of cannabis research in the US can only be described as abysmal. Schedule-one substances can’t be sent through general trials which makes large-scale clinical testing next to impossible. And that means every vote matters when it comes to spurring cannabis reform in the US.

Stusser and the crew at Higher Ground TV understand the seriousness of the matter. They’ve opted to reach people with humor as a part of their advocacy journalism, but that doesn’t mean they’re not committed to abolishing cannabis prohibition.

According to Stusser:

The cliche, obviously, is that pot smokers are lazy and couch-locked, when – in fact – we’re as active and involved as any community. With the Ballot Box, we’re using a new platform as an entry point to spark engagement, and register new voters.

If you’re unable to purchase the Ballot Box in person, you can still head over to the Cannabis Voter Project to make sure your registration is up-to-date and get news and info related to the upcoming elections and cannabis.

For more information on registering to vote in the US, check out these non cannabis-related resources:

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