The people have spoken. Out of the nine states with questions regarding the legalization of marijuana for either recreational or medical purposes, eight voted to reform marijuana laws. A majority of the Mary Jane victories were won by two or more percentage points. Some states had considerably large margins such as Florida, North Dakota, Montana, Nevada, and California. Maine was the closest with just less than 1% of the vote separating the proponents from the opponents.
Arizona (FAILED – RECREATIONAL)
Arizona voted on Proposition 205, which would allow residents 21 and over to possess and consume marijuana. In a 52.14% to 47.86% vote, marijuana will remain illegal in the state.
Arkansas (PASSED – MEDICAL)
Arkansas legalized medical marijuana in a 53.17% vote against a 46.83% vote. This passage creates a Medical Marijuana Commission and it will distribute tax revenue to technical institutes, vocational schools, workforce training, and the General Fund.
California (PASSED – RECREATIONAL)
California voted to legalize recreational marijuana for those 21 years or older. The vote also establishes a cultivation tax and a sales tax. The vote was 56.03% to 43.97%. A proposition to legalize weed in California failed in 2010. More than 1 in 10 Americans lives in California, so now about 20% of Americans (63 million individuals) live in states with legal recreational marijuana.
Florida (PASSED – MEDICAL)
Florida voted to legalize marijuana for medical purposes in a whopping 71.35% to 28.75% victory. This vote will support individuals with specific debilitating diseases or similar debilitating conditions as determined by licensed state physicians. In 2014, Florida failed to pass a similar law. The 2016 measure adds more clarification to classifying “debilitating” illnesses and the measure addresses concerns regarding doctors being immune to malpractice claims.
Maine (PASSED – RECREATIONAL)
In a very close vote, Maine voted to legalize recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21. The vote was 50.36% to 49.64%.
Massachusetts (PASSED – RECREATIONAL)
Massachusetts joins its fellow New England neighbor by voting to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for those over 21, but regulate it in ways similar to alcohol. The vote was separated by less than 450,000 votes with 53.56% people supporting the legalization and 46.44% opposing it.
Montana (PASSED – MEDICAL)
Montana voted to legalize marijuana for medical purposes with a 56.56% vote to a 43.44% vote. The passage supports repealing the three-patient limit for medical marijuana providers.
Nevada (PASSED – RECREATIONAL)
Joining the majority of states with marijuana questions on the ballot, Nevada voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Individuals must be 21 years or older and they can only possess one ounce or less. The vote was 54.47% to 45.53%.
North Dakota (PASSED – MEDICAL)
In a landslide victory of 63.66% to 36.34% vote, North Dakota voted to legalize the use of medical marijuana to treat defined debilitating medical conditions. Some of these conditions include cancer, AIDS, hepatitis C, and ALS. The measure also defined certain procedures for regulating the growth, distribution, and usage of medical marijuana.