Election Day is usually monumental in some fashion: at it's core, we are electing the leader and face of the nation for the next four years.
But this election was about more than a leader, it was also about how Americans want to live their lives, and a decisive shift towards progressive social policies was made loud and clear by the electorate in the Presidential and Senatorial races.
Consider, for the first time ever, that gays will be able to get married in this country as voted on by citizens. An openly gay candidate, Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), won a seat in the Senate for the first time ever. There are now more women in the Senate than ever before. And, in two states, Colorado and Washington, marijuana has been legalized, while medical marijuana was approved in Massachusetts, becoming the 18th state to do so.
Marijuana has been a contentious issue since it was made illegal by a select group of rich politicians after Prohibition, citing a moral code not too far from the ridiculous diction spewed by the GOP in this race, and Colorado has long been at the forefront of undoing this injustice.
Not only will marijuana legalization open new markets for the American economy to explore – rather than continue to send all the money to Mexico and the Middle East – it will also reduce pressure on our overcrowded jail system.
The tourism board in Colorado is also expecting a large boost.
But, moreso than the economy or prison systems which have come to rule so much of our lives, this represents the American ideal of freedom. America was founded by people trying to get away from an oppressive government. It's about time we got back to that.
Sadly, it might take a bit more time than just one election. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper warned the citizens of Colorado that the bill would be in for a fight.
“This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug so don’t break out the Cheetos or gold fish too quickly.”
Ah, too late.