While the November 2016 elections are clearly nothing to look forward to, there are some potential bright spots. The United States appears to be gradually coming out of its incredibly ridiculous War on Drugs psychosis as more and more Americans realize the counter-productive and oppressive nature of America’s drug policy.
Nowhere is this more evident then in the recent victories for marijuana that have taken place across the country. Most of these victories pertain to medical marijuana but some have also been recreational.
Now, nine states will have on their ballot, questions regarding some form of marijuana legalization. While there are often many nuances and important details regarding marijuana legalization, plebiscites assuming that the law does not cloak some other police state measure or corporate monopoly, it’s important for all people of good will to come out and support efforts to legalize marijuana even if they are only a minute step in the right direction.
Below is a list of states that will be deciding the popular vote whether or not to legalize marijuana or not in some capacity on November 8th.
Under proposition 205, Arizona’s Marijuana Legalization Initiative, adults 21 years and older would be allowed to possess and recreationally use an ounce or less of marijuana. It would also be possible to grow up to six plants in their home.
Arkansas has two marijuana issues on the ballot. The first is Arkansas Issue 7 Medical Cannabis Statute. And the second, is Arkansas Medical Marijuana Issue 6. If Issue 6 passes with a Yes vote, medical marijuana will be legal in Arkansas and license fees will be issued for cultivation and dispensaries. There would be no limit imposed for patient card fees. The measure would also see the establishment of a medical marijuana commission and revenue from sales tax would be spread across three different areas. Furthermore, the law would task the Arkansas Department of Health with creating rules for patient cards, producers and sellers. The Arkansas DOH would also be responsible for determining what constitutes a qualification of appropriate medical conditions.
Medical marijuana has long been legal in California. In fact, the state was a pioneer in relaxed marijuana laws since it legalized medical cannabis in 1996. In 2016, California is taking a look at Proposition 64, also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. If this initiative passes, it would legalize both recreational marijuana and hemp for people 21 and older. It will impose 15% sales tax on marijuana as well as a cultivation tax on flowers and leaves. An individual could also legally grow up to six plants.
Not exactly fertile ground for reasonable drug laws, and having already failed to pass a marijuana initiative in 2014, Florida once again takes a look at Amendment 2 which would legalize medical marijuana for patients suffering with very specific and serious diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, glaucoma, ALS, HIV and AIDS. Floridians would only be able to access medical marijuana with a prescription from a license state physician.
Maine is another state that has allowed legal medical marijuana since the late 1990s. Question 1 (2016) however, would legalize the recreational use of cannabis allowing adults 21 and up to use and possess the plant. As far as regulation goes, Maine’s Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry would regulate retail stores and a 10% sales tax will apply.
Another state already allowing medical cannabis, if Massachusetts passes Question 4, marijuana would be legalized with regulations and restrictions being similar to that of alcoholic beverages in the state.
Medical Marijuana Initiative I-182 is strictly medical marijuana and would be passed as an amendment to the Montana Medical Marijuana Act which itself has already passed. The new initiative will simply adjust the laws to allow more patients access to medical cannabis and allow the hiring of workers to cultivate, transport and distribute medical marijuana to patients.
Question 2 is simple enough. If it passes, people 21 and older will be able to possess and use up to an ounce of marijuana for recreation.
Initiated Statutory Measure 5 will require medical marijuana patients to obtain a specific ID card and will allow patients suffering from epilepsy, cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, ALS and Hepatitis C access to medical cannabis. Also known as the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act the law would specify regulations, procedures and other details regarding the growing and distribution of medical marijuana. The law would also allow patients to grow up to 8 plants if they live more than 40 miles from a dispensary.