Legalization Watch! According to an article by Paul Elias and David Crary If ‘yes’ votes prevail across the country, about 75 million people accounting for more than 23 percent of the U.S. population would live in states where recreational pot is legal.
On November 8th 2016 millions of voters will be voting for the legalization for the recreational use of marijuana for those 21 and over. Three other states will be voting to legalize marijuana use for medical purposes and another state will be voting to liberalize its existing law. Let’s take a look…
Legalization of Recreational Marijuana
Arizona’s prop 205 would allow adults to buy and keep up to an ounce of weed and grow as many as six plants in their homes. If this prop passes a new department would be set in place to regulate weed much like alcohol. A 15% percent tax would be placed on the sale of marijuana that Arizona plans to allocate to municipalities, schools and the state’s health department. The state and its leaders seem to be at a stalemate with two different polls showing one prediction of passing the measure and one of it failing.
California’s Prop 64 is very similar to Arizona’s, allowing up to an ounce to be possessed and up to 6 plants to be maintained. The differences are that the taxes would be levied on sales and deposited to the states Marijuana Tax Fund. The money will be used on the education and treatment of substance-abuse and to repair the damage done to the environment from illegal marijuana farming practices. Multiple recent polls show that the measure should pass with ease.
Maine’s Question 1 is bringing in the big guns allowing up to 2.5 ounces to be in one’s possession and like the previous states, up to 6 plants. There would be 10 percent tax on pot but the measure is catching a lot of opposition from the medical marijuana community. Growers feel they’ll be forced out of the industry by the corporations if it becomes completely legal. The outcome is tough to call, at this point the race is neck and neck.
Massachusetts’ Question 4 boasts the legalization of up to an ounce and a limited number of plants allowed to be grown in one’s home. A commission will be created and an excise in addition to a sales tax will be placed on marijuana. The polls show that public opinion is closely divided.
Nevada’s Question 2 would legalize up to an ounce and impose a hefty excise tax. Only medical marijuana certified business’ can apply for licenses after an 18 month period.
Legalization of Medical Marijuana
Arkansas has two competing proposals that are similar in terms of making marijuana legal at dispensaries, but they differ with their regulations. Many worry that having two proposals will dilute their purpose causing both to fail. A former head of the FDA that’s become a sates Governor has expressed extreme opposition.
Florida already allows the use of medical marijuana for terminally ill individuals. Florida voters favored a broadening in the legalization in 2014 at 58% for treating non-terminal patients but need the full 60% for it to pass. The list of ailments include cancer, epilepsy, AIDS, glaucoma, PTSD, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s, MS and ALS.
In North Dakota its measure will allow the medical legalization for patients suffering from one of several different illnesses, with a doctor’s permission. It would allow an individual to possess up to 3 ounces either purchased from a dispensary or personally grown.
Last but not least Montana’s initiative would undo some restrictions a 2011 state law put on a 2004 initiative which legalized medical marijuana. The restrictions are banning dispensaries, putting a doctor under review if they recommend more than 25 patients a year and limiting what illnesses qualify for medical use.