There are 24 states that allow some form of legal marijuana; Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia are the only states that recreational marijuana is fully legal.
Come November, voters in nine states will decide on whether to legalize either the recreational use or the medical use of marijuana; Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada and North Dakota.
California has a long history of voting on marijuana reform. The latest measure, Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), legalizes:
- the possession of 1 ounce of marijuana flower, or up to 8 grams of cannabis concentrates for those 21 years and older,
- the cultivation of up to 6 plants,
- the industrial cultivation of hemp,
- a taxed and regulated system for a recreational marijuana industry.
California’s recreational marijuana law is intricate. It outlines marketing restrictions to minors, allows local tax rates and limitations on commercial marijuana operators to be in the hands of local counties and municipalities, and several other stipulations.
It also creates systems for reducing sentences and expunging past marijuana convictions.
Tax resources are allocated toward environmental protection and remediation, youth substance abuse prevention, medical marijuana research and local governments.
The measure is backed by Let’s Get it Right CA, Governor Gavin Newsom, the ACLU, NAACP, Drug Policy Alliance, Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, NORML and Marijuana Policy Project.
Nevada votes on recreational marijuana legalization in November. The stated passed medical marijuana in 2000. For residents 21 years and older, the initiative would legalize:
- possession of 1 ounce of marijuana,
- a taxed and regulated recreational cannabis industry with tax revenue supporting K-12 education,
- and includes a clause that allows anyone who does not live within 25 miles of a marijuana store to grow up to 6 marijuana plants.
The initiative outlines that funds from industry taxes be allocated to schools and the regulatory structure. The Nevada Department of Taxation will oversee the licensing of marijuana retails stores, and marijuana cultivation, manufacturing and testing.
The initiative in Maine aims to legalize recreational marijuana for residents 21 years and older and creates a taxed and regulated recreational cannabis industry. It legalizes:
- the possession of up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana,
- the possession, cultivation and transportation of up to 6 flowering marijuana plants, 12 immature marijuana plants and unlimited seedlings, and possession of all the marijuana produced by the marijuana plants at that person’s residence.
Maine’s Question 1 places the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to regulate and control the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of marijuana.
The Marijuana Legalization Act is supported by the Legalize Maine group.
The Legalization and Regulation of Marijuana Act, or Proposition 205, will be on the ballot in Arizona this November. Medical marijuana is already available for almost 100,000 cardholders, however, recreational marijuana possession still faces legal charges. For residents 21 years and older, the initiative legalizes:
- the possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana,
- a taxed and regulated recreational cannabis industry,
- adults to grow up to 6 marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked space within their residences and possess the marijuana produced by those plants in the location where it was grown. A limit of the total marijuana plants grown in a single residence is limited at 12.
It also creates a new agency called the Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control to oversee the legal marijuana industry.
Taxes would be set at 15% and those collected from Proposition 205 would be allocated to school construction, full-day kindergarten programs, public drug education and more.
The Question 4 initiative to regulate and tax marijuana for recreational use for adults 21 years and up, like alcohol, will be on the November ballot. The initiative legalizes:
- possession up to 1 ounce of marijuana outside of an individual’s residence,
- possession of up to 10 ounces of marijuana in an enclosed, locked space within their residences,
- growing up to 6 marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked space within their residences and possess the marijuana produced by those plants in the location where it was grown. No more than 12 total marijuana plants can be grown in a single residence.
This bill creates a new Cannabis Control Commission to oversee all government regulation of marijuana in the state. It also places a tax on sales that pay for regulatory structure and any remainder is added to the Massachusetts’ General Fund.
Florida will be voting on medical marijuana for the second election cycle in a row. Florida saw medical marijuana narrowly defeated (2 percent) in 2014. The 2016 Amendment 2 initiative legalizes and states:
- the medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating medical conditions as determined by a licensed Florida physician,
- allows caregivers to assist patients’ medical use of marijuana,
- and that the Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers.
Arkansas has an interesting ballot when it comes to voting on marijuana reform. There are two competing proposals: the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act (Issue 7) and the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment (Issue 6).
Issue 6 would make a repeal of the law impossible as it is a state constitution amendment. It would legalized doctor-approved medical cannabis treatments for patients. Unfortunately this measure would place the program under the control of Arkansas’ Alcoholic Beverage Control, as well as, a new medical marijuana commission.
Issue 7 also allows doctor-approved medical cannabis treatment through nonprofit compassion centers. It also allows patients to grow their own marijuana at home if they live too far away from a center. This program would be oversee by the Department of Health.
Montana is voting to reinstate its medical marijuana laws through I-182. The initiative allows patients to access and use marijuana for several debilitating illnesses.
Medical marijuana was originally made legal in 2004 in the state. However, legislative restrictions made the law nearly impossible to work.
The initiative would make it legal for North Dakota residents who suffer from one of several debilitating illnesses to use marijuana with a doctor’s permission. They could possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana for medical purposes from either a state-licensed dispensary or a personally grown supply.
The state Health Department says the program would cost more than $3.5 million a year to operate.
This election can completely change the way people see marijuana and can end the war on drugs as far as marijuana is concerned. So friends…VOTE VOTE VOTE!