Cannabis at the Ballot Box: Which States Will Legalize?
Four states have marijuana initiatives on the ballot this November, two to legalize recreational marijuana and two to legalize medical marijuana. With voting less than a week away, here’s everything you need to know about which states could legalize cannabis.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol and MI Legalize are the main backers of Proposal 1, the ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana for adults 21 or older. Should the initiative pass, anyone meeting the age requirement would be able to “possess, use, transport, or process 2.5 ounces or less of marijuana or 15 grams of marijuana concentrate.” It would also be legal to “share or transfer without payment” up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana to another person over 21 years old. Individuals would be able to grow up to 12 cannabis plants and store up to 10 ounces from those plants. A 10% tax would apply to all adult-use marijuana sales and would go toward regulatory and implementation costs, as well as to municipalities, clinical research, schools, and roads. Unlike some other states, individuals with previous marijuana convictions would not be pardoned or expunged.
A poll conducted in May by Victory Phones found that 48% of respondents support cannabis legalization, while another poll conducted the same month by Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research found support for the initiative at 61%.
North Dakota’s approach to legalization is unique. Measure 3 would legalize adult-use cannabis for those 21 and older and also remove “hashish, marijuana, and tetrahydrocannabinols” from the state’s list of Schedule I substances. Marijuana convictions would be expunged and convicting anyone over 21 for growing, selling, possessing, or testing cannabis would be prohibited. On top of that, North Dakota would not regulate marijuana in any way–no limits on how much a person could grow or possess.
There’s limited polling data in North Dakota, but a survey of voters conducted in February by Kitchens Group found that 46% of respondents supported Measure 3, while 15% were undecided.
Missouri doesn’t just have one medical marijuana initiative on the ballot; they have three. While that might sound like a good thing, the competing measures could confusion at the voting booth, as well as create some speed bumps down the line if one or more of the initiatives is adopted.
Amendment 2 would amend the state’s constitution to legalize, regulate, and tax medical marijuana. It’s the only one of the three initiatives to allow home cultivation of cannabis. If passed, the initiative would tax medical marijuana at 4%, and tax revenue would go towards regulatory costs and healthcare services for veterans. New Approach Missouri, a “coalition of patients, doctors and veterans” is behind the initiative.
Amendment 2 has the support of the Marijuana Policy Project, the Drug Policy Alliance, and NORML.
Amendment 3, nicknamed the “Bradshaw Amendment” after the personal injury lawyer who wrote and bankrolled it, would tax medical marijuana at 15% and use that tax revenue to fund a state-run cancer institute chaired by Brad Bradshaw. Bradshaw would also select the institute’s governing board.
Proposition C, unlike the other two proposals, would create a new law rather than an amendment to the state constitution. Also known as the Patient Care Act, it would allow the cultivation, production, testing, and dispensing of medical marijuana. Medical marijuana would be taxed at 2%, and tax revenue would go towards public safety, veterans’ services, drug treatment, and early childhood education. Home cultivation of cannabis would not be permitted.
Proposition 2 would allow people with qualifying medical conditions, including PTSD, cancer, HIV, epilepsy, chronic pain, Crohn’s, Alzheimer’s, and ALS, to use medical marijuana. Smoking marijuana would not be allowed if the initiative passes, making edibles, tinctures, and vaporizers the main method of cannabis consumption. Home-growing marijuana would only be permitted if a patient lives more than 100 miles from a dispensary. Utah Patient’s Coalition is behind the ballot initiative.
Polling in support of Proposition 2 has been as high as 75%, but support has recently dropped to 64% following the Mormon church’s opposition to the initiative.