There are currently nine states in the U.S. that have legalized recreational marijuana use, and 29 states that have some kind of medical marijuana program. The mid-term election is just two days away, and there’s a number of important cannabis laws on the ballot. Here’s a look at which states are putting pot up for a vote this year.
Washington and Colorado led the way in 2012. Alaska and Oregon followed two years later, along with Washington D.C. In 2016, five more states passed recreational laws – Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Nevada and California. In 2018, two more states are hoping to join the club:
On the ballot in Michigan is Proposition 18-1, which would legalize marijuana for adults 21 and over – including edibles and concentrates. It allows cultivation of up to 12 plants for personal use, but limits the amount of pot you can possess to 10 ounces at home and 2.5 ounces in public.
The measure would impose a 10 percent tax to go towards infrastructure, education and research, and regulatory costs. It would also allow local municipalities to ban or restrict retail marijuana businesses in their jurisdiction.
North Dakota voters are considering Measure 3 this year, which would remove cannabis from it’s list of Schedule 1 substances (drugs with no medicinal use and high potential for abuse and addiction). If the measure passes, it would legalize possession and use of cannabis and cannabis products for all adults with no limit on how much a person can possess or cultivate at home.
It would also retroactively affect all people in North Dakota who have been convicted of non-violent marijuana offenses, automatically expunging their records and giving them a fresh start.
More than half of all U.S. states have legalized medicinal marijuana in some form, though the specifics vary greatly from state to state. This year, two more states could pass their own medicinal laws, bringing the total to 31.
On the ballot in Utah is Proposition 2, which would legalize medical cannabis use for patients with a wide range of conditions – from HIV and cancer to epilepsy and PTSD. It also allows them to use oils, edibles and other products for therapeutic purposes, and in some cases cultivate up to 6 plants at home.
My home state of Missouri has not one, but three medicinal marijuana measures on the ballot this year, each one sponsored by a different group.
Amendment 2 is sponsored by New Approach Missouri, and would allow doctors to prescribe pot to patients with one of ten specific conditions – including cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy and Parkinson’s. They would also be able to grow plants at home if properly licensed and registered. Amendment 2 would impose a 4 percent tax, the funds from which would benefit veteran’s organizations.
Amendment 3, a.k.a. “the Bradshaw Amendment,” is sponsored by attorney and physician Brad Bradshaw. It would not only legalize medicinal pot, but establish research institute headed by Bradshaw himself – and paid for by a staggering 15 percent sales tax (wtf?!).
Proposition C, a.k.a. “the Missourians For Patient Care Act,” is not a constitutional amendment, but a new state law backed by lobbyist Travis Brown and his PR firm Pelopidas. The law would legalize medicinal marijuana and impose a minimal 2 percent sales tax, just enough to cover state operating expenses.
In addition to these statewide ballot measures, there are a number of local measures up for vote in California, Ohio and Wisconsin. Stay tuned for updates after the election on November 6th!