In the days before the 2016 election HeadCount is running a new series titled "Not Just the White House," a run down of ballot initiatives across the 50 states. For the first installment we are looking into marijuana initiatives.
This coming Tuesday, 9 states have referendums to reform marijuana legislation on their ballots. That’s right! This means that 82 million residents will potentially live in states where Mary Jane will be legal. These are record numbers for pot-enthusiasts, and likely will trigger a discussion at the federal level on the future of legalization.
Without further ado, here’s exactly what these 9 states are voting on (click on the state names for more specifics on their bills):
Proposition 205 will allow residents 21 and over to possess and consume marijuana. Currently, marijuana is illegal in the state but became legal for medical purposes in 1996. This campaign has raised $3.1 million as opposed to the campaign against the legislation, which has only raised $1.5 million. A 15% tax would be placed on all recreational marijuana purchases.
Arkansas will be voting on Issue 6, the legalization of medical marijuana. Arkansans United for Medical Marijuana has outraised its opponents four to one. This bill would heavily tax cannabis.
In California, marijuana would be legalized for persons over 21. It has been legal for medical purposes since 1996, and in 2010 Proposition 19 to legalize marijuana failed. This will add two new taxes to the state, one on the cultivation and one on the retail price. It has raised tons of money from various different groups.
Florida’s ballot will allow residents with specific debilitating conditions to be prescribed medical marijuana by a physician. Florida attempted a very similar initiative that was defeated in 2014.
Maine once again is attempting to legalize recreational marijuana after many previous attempts. Medical marijuana was legalized in Maine in 1999. This law will simply legalize recreational marijuana for people 21 and up.
Massachusetts Question 4 will regulate marijuana in a similar way to alcohol. Marijuana is currently permitted for medical purposes. This bill has been controversial and has produced this anti-marijuana ad that went viral.
Montana will be voting on I-182, whether they change their 3-patient limit law. The current law only allows dispensaries to service 3 patients. Doctors also must be approved to prescribe medical marijuana to more than 25 patients in one year.
Nevada’s Question 2 would allow Nevada residents to purchase one ounce or less of marijuana. A 15% tax will be placed on this. Medical marijuana became legal in the state of Nevada in the year 2000.
North Dakota (Medical)
North Dakota’s Statutory Measure 5 would legalize medical marijuana for those suffering from several illnesses. Currently, marijuana is completely prohibited across the state. Patients will be issued identification cards for this. These patients will also be assigned caregivers to provide this service