States Voting On Marijuana Initiatives
Half of the nation’s states now have medical marijuana laws. Four have recreational marijuana laws, and more will likely follow. You may be wondering which states will be next to vote on cannabis legalization. Well, there are a record number of marijuana initiatives on the November ballot. Four states will be voting on medical marijuana initiatives. Five states will be voting on whether or not to go entirely legal with recreational marijuana laws.
First, we’ll go over the states voting on legalizing recreational marijuana initiatives then we’ll get into the states voting on medical marijuana initiatives:
Arizona’s Proposition 205 initiative is sponsored by the Arizona Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. If passed, the initiative would grant persons over the age of 21 the right to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants within enclosed, locked spaces in their homes.
The initiative would create the Department of Marijuana License and Control. The Department would limit the number of retail marijuana shops to a tenth of the number of liquor store licenses, which was less than 180.
Proposition 205 would impose a 15% excise tax on retail sales, with 80% of that revenue going towards schools. The other 20% would go towards substance abuse education to help prevent or remedy any of the adverse side effects that may arise from marijuana legalization.
California’s Proposition 64 will be on the November ballot. The initiative is called The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). It is sponsored by Yes on 64 and would permit anyone over 21 to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants much like the Arizona measure. Gifting of up to a quarter-ounce of marijuana will be allowed if the proposition passes.
The initiative would make California the first state to have “cannabis cafes” that allow on-site marijuana consumption, similar to the ones in Amsterdam. Marijuana commerce would be regulated by a new Bureau of Marijuana Control, which would replace the current Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation.
The measure would impose a 15% retail sales tax and a $9.25 per ounce cultivation tax paid for by wholesalers. It’s worth noting the initiative provides no employment protections for consumers of marijuana.
Recent polls illustrate that 60% of Californians support the legalization of marijuana.
The Marijuana Legalization Act or Question 1, sponsored by the Maine Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, will be on the November ballot. The initiative would permit people 21 and over to possess up to two and a half ounces of marijuana or six plants.
The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry would regulate marijuana commerce, taxing retail marijuana at 10%.
The measure would also allow for “cannabis cafes” to be run similarly to bars because you will need to be 21 to enter and guests will not be allowed to leave with their unfinished marijuana.
So far, campaign supporters have raised more funds than opponents of the initiative. Recent polling showed 55% of Maine for legalization
The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act or Question 4, is a measure sponsored by theMassachusetts Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.
The Act would permit people 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana in public and up to 10 ounces at home. Residents of Massachusetts would be able to grow up to six plants. A Cannabis Control Commission would regulate legal marijuana commerce. “Cannabis cafes” for indoor marijuana smoking would be permitted.
The measure would impose an additional 3.75% to the state’s 6.25% sales tax, for a total tax rate of 10%. Localities can ban legal marijuana commerce or add local taxes. Pot smoking employees will not be protected under the new law.
The most recent polling in MA had 41% of residents for legalization and 50% against it.
The Initiative to Regulate and Tax Marijuana or Question 2 is sponsored by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Nevada. The measure would allow people 21 and over to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. Residents who live more than 25 miles from a retail marijuana store will be able to grow six plants.
If the measure passes, the state’s Department of Taxation will create and oversee a system of licensed marijuana commerce. The initiative would impose a 15% tax on wholesale marijuana sales; retail sales will have the regular state sales tax.
A two-week old poll has the Nevada measure winning 50% to 41%.
States voting on Medical Marijuana
Arkansas voters will be voting on two different medical marijuana initiatives come November. The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act and the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment. The main difference between the two would be in the number of dispensaries allowed in-state.
Florida voters will have the chance to vote for Amendment 2. This bill would allow the states’ Department of Health to register and regulate dispensaries as well as issue ID cards to patients and caregivers. Patients with qualifying medical conditions will have to receive a Florida physicians approval before becoming eligible for medical marijuana. 60 percent of voters will need to vote yes for the law to pass. Florida already permits qualifying patients to use low-THC cannabis oils, but this law would allow patients to receive much more.
Montana already has medical marijuana, but the laws are currently quite limiting. Ballot Issue 24 will be on the November ballot, and it would remove the three patient limit imposed on marijuana providers. The initiative would also add chronic pain and PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions.
The Initiated Statutory Measure No. 5 would put the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act into effect. This Act would allow patients to possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana for qualifying conditions. Patients who live 40 miles or more from a dispensary will be allowed to grow up to eight plants if this proposal passes legally.