Jake Olzen (Waging Nonviolence):
On December 6, two historic new laws in Washington State take effect. A majority of voters chose last month to legalize marijuana and pass measures for marriage equality, thanks to community organizing efforts and social change movements concretely focused on policy issues. Referendum 74, which would allow same-sex couples to marry, passed with 53-percent approval. Meanwhile, Initiative 502 passed with 55 percent of voters assenting to legalize the production, processing and selling of marijuana in the state. Several other states passed similar measures at the same time, but Washington was the only one to claim both. MORE...Howie P.S.:
Money Quote: "The intersection between electoral politics, ballot initiatives and social change is hardly straightforward. But one thing is clear — movement-based campaigns that take advantage of big election cycles with clear messaging and broad coalitions can be a vehicle for landmark policy reform."