Election 2016: Which States Are Voting to Legalize Marijuana?
November 8, 2016 may be remembered as a watershed day in the movement to end the prohibition of Cannabis. The terrible and destructive consequences of marijuana prohibition on the individual as well as society are well documented, and this election five states are voting to end these evils and legalize adult cannabis consumption. In addition, four states are considering ballot measures that would either legalize medical marijuana (Arkansas and North Dakota) or expand current medicinal programs (Florida and Montana).
Which states are voting to legalize adult use of Marijuana?
The five states voting for the legalization of adult use of marijuana are Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. Each of these states already allow for the consumption of marijuana for medicinal purposes. If these measures pass, they will join Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia as areas that allow for the responsible use of cannabis.
What should we expect on Election Day?
Arizonans are voting on Proposition 205. Under this proposition, Marijuana consumption, production, possession (up to an ounce) and sale would be allowed under law. In addition, a 15% excise tax would be added to retail sales which would help pay for regulation as well as provide desperately needed revenue to the states education system.
A recent poll done by the Arizona Republic indicates that Arizona voters narrowly favor the passage of this proposition with 50% in favor, 42% opposing, and 8% of voters unsure. A barrage of deceptive anti-cannabis propaganda has flooded the state so this proposition will be worth monitoring on and after Election Day.
Proposition 64 aims to expand on the current medical marijuana market to allow for the responsible adult use of marijuana without a prescription. Sales tax revenue would be collected from the purchase of marijuana that would go toward public health and environmental programs.
This proposition has widespread and bipartisan support. Every poll done on this proposition seems to indicate that the proposition should pass by a wide margin.
The Maine Marijuana Legalization Measure (known as Question 1), would allow adults over 21 to possess 2.5 ounces of marijuana and cultivate up to 6 plants. A 10% sales tax would create a regulatory body for the commercial market with leftover funds going into the general legislative budget.
While Question 1 has some powerful enemies (like current Governor Paul LePage) limited polling has shown Mainers support the measure.
Passage of Question 4 would treat marijuana like alcohol and create a commission to oversee the newly created market. Excise and Sales taxes (capped at 12% total) on purchases would be collected and distributed to the appropriate levels of government.
Question 2 would allow for the limited possession and use of marijuana and marijuana concentrates by those 21 or older. In addition, those at least 25 miles from a retail store would be allowed to cultivate up to six marijuana plants. A 15% excise tax would go to setting up the retail market as well as K-12 Education.
Despite millions spent on attack ads and some high profile enemies, polls relating to Question 2 seem to indicate that Nevadans will soon allow for the responsible usage of cannabis.
Medical Marijuana Round Up
In the two states voting on the legalization of medical marijuana, there is not much certainty as to what the results will be. While polling seems to suggest that Arkansas’ measure 6 will be defeated the limited polls have numbers that fall within the margin of error. In North Dakota, no polling has been done related to Measure 5 but neighboring states have approved medical marijuana in the past which should leave us cautiously optimistic about the results.
In the two states expanding their medicinal marijuana programs, Florida’s Amendment 2 is seeing widespread support indicating that it will in fact pass. Amendment 2 will override a ridiculously strict and nonsensical current medical marijuana program. In Montana, limited polling of I-182 seems to indicate an uphill battle to expand their medical marijuana program. Montana’s current program is extremely limited and allows medical professionals to only prescribe marijuana to three patients a year.
What Does the Future Hold for Prohibition?
Backward, antiquated, and discriminatory thinking has led to the disaster that is marijuana prohibition. However, rapidly changing attitudes and cannabis education are bringing about change. A recent PRRI American Values Survey indicated that 63% of Americans favored marijuana legalization. Gallup’s own poll noted that 60% of Americans favored legalizing Marijuana as well, the highest percentage recorded in the 47 years of Gallup surveys. As more Americans are given the freedom to responsibly consume cannabis and the positives of legalization become well known, these numbers should only continue to grow.
For a post-Election day update, please check back with us so we can note and celebrate the gained freedom of our fellow Americans!
Lastly, don’t forget to vote Dreamers! After you do your civic duty, what better way to celebrate your freedom than by stopping by Agate Dreams? See you soon!