A good night for marijuana

by Lorenzo Piccoli

Republican Party candidates, who had transformed the mid-term elections in a referendum over the Obama administration, slaughtered their Democratic opponents in last night American Senate’s mid-term elections winning 21 of the 33 seats that were contested. They now have a strong majority in the Chamber (they already did before the election) and in the Senate (they did not), leaving very little room of manoeuvre to President Obama for the last two years of his mandate.

the US 2014 mid-term results

So much good news for the Grand Old Party. Indeed, last night was a success for the Republicans, but it was a good night for marijuana too, and for minimum wage. In the referendums held in many states, alongside the Senate elections, voters in Arkansas, Nebraska and Illinois decided to raise the minimum hourly wage from $7.25 to 9, 8,50 and $10 respectively. In Oregon, the District of Columbia and Alaska citizens voted in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational use – joining Colorado and Washington, where recreational marijuana had been allowed a few months ago. Paradoxically, while the Republicans have been tightening their stance on immigration and public debt over the last few years, they are now back in power at a time when the US is becoming more progressive than ever on social and civil issues. In his effective op-ed, Alessio Marchionna argued that if the Republicans want to capitalize on the success of the mid-term elections and aspire to the presidency in 2016, they will have to change along with the rest of American society.