Close-up of an election ballot.
While President Barack Obama’s victory was the big news of the night time, marijuana enthusiasts and gay marriage supporters may experienced the largest reasons to celebrate Tuesday’s election results.
Listed below are five ways the results may have lasting effect on controversial social matters, from same-sex marriage to drug laws.
1. Drug laws
Last night’s elections marked a huge win for marijuana legalization. Washington Colorado and state legalized recreational usage of the drug. (An Oregon legalization measure was defeated). Massachusetts legalized medical marijuana.
Support for marijuana legalization has increased, year and last, for the very first time, a Gallup poll found 50 percent of Americans supported legalizing the drug.
But as Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said, it might not be time to open the Goldfish and Cheetos snacks just yet. The brand new laws set the stage for a showdown between your federal and state governments. Under federal law, marijuana can be an unlawful drug without beneficial use, and the Department of Justice said its enforcement policies haven’t changed. Obama hasn’t yet said whether, or how, he’d enforce federal laws that clash with the brand new state laws.
2. Gay marriage
This election brought very good news for same-sex partners. Maryland legalized gay marriage, Maine reactivated its same-sex marriage law, and Minnesota rejected a ballot measure that could have barred gay marriage. Of Tuesday night As, the Washington initiative to ahead legalize gay marriage was, with 52 percent of the vote counted. The tallying there is likely to last days.
This election marked the very first time that same-sex marriage has won at the ballot box instead of in the statehouse or the courts. [5 Myths About Gay People Debunked]
In public areas opinion polls, support for gay marriage has steadily increased during the last decade, and younger voters overwhelmingly support same-sex couples’ to marry.
Obama’s re-election stands to become a boon for gay-marriage supporters. Though he at first opposed allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, the president said in-may that his views had «evolved,» and he instructed the Department of Justice to avoid defending the Defense of Marriage Act in court.
Two states weighed in on unlawful immigration. Voters in Maryland approved its version of the DREAM Act, extending in-state university tuition to high school graduates who as children had been brought to the country illegally.
Montana, meanwhile, voted to take off state services for undocumented immigrants.
In his second term, Obama will probably renew the push for comprehensive immigration reform, according to news reports. He is likely push for the passing of the DREAM Act, which would provide people brought here illegally with a way to citizenship if indeed they attend university or sign up for the U.S. military.
Abortion, the latest of hot-button social issues, had a comparatively quiet night. Voters in Florida rejected a constitutional amendment that could have prohibited taxpayer funding of abortion and exclude abortion from privacy rights in the Florida constitution.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected a «personhood» amendment before it might even make it to the ballot, saying it was obviously unconstitutional. The amendment could have labeled fertilized eggs from enough time of conception as «persons.»
Obama’s re-election also could be very good news for supporters of abortion rights. With the liberal wing of the Supreme Court aging, Obama may have the opportunity to nominate one or even two Supreme Court Justices, shoring up support for abortion rights on the court.
In addition, it implies that any national abortion legislation will arrive on Obama’s desk for signing before it could be approved.
The united states could be divided on when life begins, but it is also conflicted about death.
Assisted suicide and the death penalty came up for votes, with mixed results. Massachusetts narrowly rejected a ballot measure to permit terminally ill patients to commit suicide using a health care provider.
California resoundingly defeated a measure that could have abolished the death penalty and converted all death-row sentences alive without parole.
Follow LiveScience on Twitter @livescience. We’re also on Facebook & Google+.