Young Voters Could Make or Break Legalization Measures

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The success of several marijuana measures on the ballot next week could ultimately hinge on how many young voters show up at the polls.

Drug Policy Action chief Ethan Nadelmann, for instance, said in a recent article that Oregon’s recreational cannabis proposal will likely pass if voter turnout among those between the ages 18 to 29 mirrors levels from the 2012 elections.

Votes in Oregon are split down the middle at this point, so younger residents could hold the key.

The same could be said for Alaska, where polls have found very strong support for a recreational marijuana measure from residents under 35.

Young voters, who generally support marijuana legalization, tend to turn out in greater numbers in presidential-election years such as 2012 and 2016. Turnouts among 18- to 29-year-olds tend to drop in mid-term elections, though.

Advocates are doing their part, from running online ads to scrawling chalk messages on college campus sidewalks, according to the article.