What States Are Voting on Medical or Recreational Marijuana in 2016?
In addition to choosing our next President, voters in nine states will help shape the face of marijuana legislation in the United States. Medical marijuana is on the ballot in four states this November. Voters in another five states are deciding whether or not recreational marijuana will be legalized. And, a vote to legalize marijuana in these nine states could lead to a change in national marijuana laws.
After this November, medical marijuana could be legal in more than half of the states in the nation; recreational marijuana could be legal in nearly one in five states. Four states and the District of Columbia have already legalized recreational marijuana, and 25 have passed laws legalizing or decriminalizing medical marijuana. As surprising as those numbers may seem, it makes sense when you consider national support for marijuana legalization is up to 60 percent according to a recent Gallup poll, the highest number recorded in 47 years of tracking.
So, with early voting beginning in many states, we wanted to provide a brief overview of recreational and medical marijuana measures being voted on this November.
Prop 205 would legalize the possession and consumption of marijuana for private recreational use. There would be a 15 percent marijuana tax rate. Polls show the state is divided almost down the middle (49.8% Yes, 45.3% No). Medical marijuana is already legal in Arizona.
Marijuana advocates and detractors around the nation have their eyes set on California’s Prop 64 vote. As the largest state in the U.S., legalization in California could be the domino that leads to an eventual shift in national legislation. Recent polls suggest a majority of voters are in favor of legalizing marijuana for adult use, but only just at 51 percent. 40 percent of likely voters are against the measure, with 8 percent undecided. Medical marijuana is already legal in California.
Question 1 would allow adults in Maine to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. That’s two and a half times the limit in Colorado, and suggests the folks in Maine may have taken their “Aim High” motivational poster a bit too seriously. But, polls show support for legalization has climbed to 54 percent behind the strength of a campaign calling for marijuana to be regulated like alcohol. Medical marijuana is already legal in Maine.
Question 4 would legalize marijuana for private recreational use. Support has climbed to 55 percent among likely voters, with more than four out of every five residents saying they wouldn’t be bothered if someone used marijuana in their own home. Perhaps just as important, nearly 60 percent of likely voters said they would not be bothered if a recreational marijuana dispensary opened in their community. Medical marijuana is already legal in Massachusetts.
Home of Las Vegas and gobs of beautiful scenery, you may think recreational marijuana is a natural fit for Nevada. But, nobody told the residents of Nevada, with the latest polls showing this vote could easily go in either direction (47% Yes, 46% No). Question 2 will put the decision in voters’ hands this November. Medical marijuana is already legal in Nevada.
The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment (Issue 6) and the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act (Issue 7) are two separate medical marijuana ballot initiatives that would legalize medical marijuana for certain qualifying conditions. Overall support for medical marijuana in Arkansas is at 58 percent. But, the confusion of competing initiatives could mean neither one is passed, with support for both Issues polling below 50 percent support.
Florida’s Amendment 2 could legalize medical marijuana for state residents, allowing doctors to decide when it should be prescribed. A similar measure was narrowly defeated in 2014 despite strong support in polls, and Floridians shouldn’t take for granted that Amendment 2 will pass, even if recent polls show 65 percent in favor.
Marijuana was legalized for medical use in Montana in 2004. Montana’s I-182 initiative would remove some of the restrictions placed on doctors that limit how many patients they can treat while increasing the number of qualifying conditions. However, Montana also has a competing initiative that would make illegal any substance that is illegal at the federal level, which could lead to a bit of a cloudy situation in Big Sky Country.
While residents of North Dakota fell short of the signatures required to put recreational legalization on the ballot, they will have the opportunity to vote to legalize medical marijuana for use in qualifying medical conditions. No one seems to know how voting will go on the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act (Measure 5), with polling still “too close to call.”
Remember to Vote
Whatever state you’re in and whatever issues are on the ballot, remember to get out and vote. And, if you’re in Boulder, CO, this November, remember to stop by Karing Kind after you vote. Because whoever you vote for, we can all throw a green party. Karing Kind is Boulder’s first recreational marijuana dispensary. We are proud to offer the lowest marijuana tax in Colorado, and our award-winning budtenders can help you find the right product at the right price.
Karing Kind is located just off of US-36, one mile north of Broadway, now open daily from 10am to 10pm.
While we carry a variety of strains, concentrates, edibles, salves and tinctures, inventory and stock levels fluctuate from week to week and month to month. Check our menu and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for an up-to-date list of edibles, concentrates and buds available now.