This November, a record number of states will be voting on marijuana legislation across the United States. The 5 states that are voting on recreational marijuana are Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine and California. The two states that are voting on medical marijuana are Florida and Arkansas. Advocates are cheering the progress on the nation’s view on cannabis, even if marijuana legislation does not pass in all the states. Do you think it will pass in every state?
A record number of state measures asking voters to approve cannabis legalization and regulation have qualified for the ballot next month. Five states are considering whether to allow recreational adult use, and at least two others are considering seeking approval for medical cannabis in one form or another.
None are guaranteed a victory, but should all pass, it would be a significant boost in the effort to end the cannabis portion of the inhumane War on Drugs the US has waged against millions of its own citizens with their own tax money over the last 50 years.
The five states considering commercial legalization are Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, and California. The Golden State is the biggest question mark. California has a long history with the plant. It decriminalized possession in 1975 and was the first to approve medical marijuana with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. Proposition 19, proposed in November 2010, would have made possession and cultivation legal for adults, but it was defeated 53.6 percent to 46.5 percent.
At present, 196 million Americans, or 61 percent of us, now live in states where medical marijuana is legal in some way, and polls continue to indicate that about 8 of 10 Americans say cannabis should be available to medical patients. Still, only two more states have ballot measures: Florida and Arkansas. Medical initiatives in Montana and Missouri failed to get enough signatures to make the ballot.
Tvert says that no matter what happens, it will be a victory for the legalization movement. “Whether they all win or lose, they are victorious in moving this issue forward,” he says. “Every time a state considers this, more people are getting involved. Look at Colorado. In 2006, we knew we would lose, but it furthered the dialogue. If an initiative were to repeal Colorado or Oregon laws, that would be a setback.”