Article published by StonedGirls.com
This election is going to be a crazy one for a lot of reasons, but one thing we can all look forward to is impeding legalization. This year, at least nine states are voting on legalizing either recreational or medical marijuana. First up, here are the states voting on medical marijuana legalization:
This November, Arkansas could become the first official southern state to allow a decent MMJ program. The first cannabis issue that voters will consider would grant Arkansas roughly 38 dispensaries statewide. The Arkansas Department of Health would oversee their MMJ program, and it would be funded by MMJ taxes. This proposal allows for patients with a doctor’s recommendation and license from the Arkansas Department of Health to purchase marijuana from a dispensary, and if you happen to live in Arkansas, but more than 20 miles away from one of these 38 dispensaries, you can apply for “hardship cultivation” which allows you up to ten personal plants. In this proposal, the dispensaries would have to be considered “nonprofit”.
The second measure that could potentially be voted on would allow for up to eight grow facilities and 40 for-profit dispensaries statewide, however personal growing would not be allowed.
Floridians will be voting on Amendment 2 this year, which would grant MMJ access to patients with medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, and Crohn’s Disease. Patients would require a medical recommendation as well as an ID card issued by the Florida Department of Health. Florida voted on medical legalization two years ago, and fell 2.4% shy of the required 60% approval to pass.
Montana voters approved a state MMJ program back in 2004, but it has been held up in a court battle. In February of this year, the Montana Supreme Court upheld the current state laws, which limit MMJ providers to three patients a piece (what??), which coincidentally goes into affect today. Initiative 182, which is what voters will consider in November, would repeal this patient limit, as well as other stipulations like unexpected inspections and physician reviews. Chronic pain and PTSD would also now be conditions covered under their MMJ program.
For North Dakota residents, the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act being voted on in November would allow for possession of up to three ounces of marijuana for patients with conditions such as AIDS, cancer, epilepsy, and glaucoma. Also, much like Arkansas, if a patient lives more than 40 miles from a dispensary, they are allowed up to eight personal plants.
Proposition 205 in Arizona would allow residents to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to six personal plants. Obviously, it also allows residents to consume marijuana in non-public places. Prop 205 would impose a 15% sales tax on recreational retail marijuana.
California is probably the biggest and most important state voting on legalization this year, as many believe that legal recreational marijuana there would force federal legalization. Proposition 64, or the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, would legalize marijuana for everyone over the age of 21. Adults can possess up to an ounce of weed and grow up to six personal plants. According to The Cannabist, Prop 64 also gives counties and municipalities “the ability to limit or ban commercial marijuana operations, as well as set local tax rates.” This measure also would allow for both resentencing and expungement for anyone with prior marijuana convictions.
Maine’s road to recreational legalization has been a rough one, but they are finally there. This year, voters will decide on an initiative that allows for the recreational use of marijuana by adults over the age of 21, a six personal plant maximum, and a 10% sales tax. This initiative also allows municipalities the ability to limit or ban retail stores in the state.
It seems recreational legalization has had a tough time in the Northeast, as Massachusetts faced just about as many issues as Maine did. After several court battles regarding the petition signatures, Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court decided not to disqualify the proposal, which would allow adults over the age of 21 the ability to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, and keep up to ten ounces at home. In addition, this proposal would create a 15 member cannabis advisory board, which would study and regulate marijuana products. Much like Maine, counties and cities would have the ability to limit or ban marijuana operations.
Nevada’s recreational program has been in limbo for about a year and a half now, and voters will finally get the opportunity to approve the initiative this November. The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act would allow for standard legalization, which means adults over 21 can possess up to an ounce of marijuana. This proposal would limit the number of retail shops according to county population, and the cannabis would be subject to a 15% sales tax. And, for those of you who are think you can smoke everywhere in Vegas like you can cigarettes, think again. Marijuana consumption would be limited to private premises only.