Midterms and marijuana: These states voted to approve

Weed, the Midterms, and What to Expect

Midterms and marijuana: These states voted to approve

In just a few short years, marijuana went from being a taboo recreational drug you “didn’t inhale” at college parties to a legalized resource touted for its ability to improve health and bolster the economy.

Highly-publicized marijuana legalization efforts in states Washington, Colorado, and California have helped forge (often through trial and error) a pathway to legalization that could impact everything from employment to incarceration in the U.S.

Though marijuana is only fully legal in nine states as of September 2018 (31 states allow for medical marijuana, to varying degrees of access), each new election brings with it the promise of expanding marijuana legalization until it can be adopted federally.

And the 2018 midterms are no exception, with seven measures on various state ballots—Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Utah—offering the opportunity to expand legal weed’s reach throughout the nation. One of those, Oklahoma’s State Question 788, was voted on in June and passed, making medical marijuana legal in the state (it won by nearly 57 percent of the vote).

Since marijuana legalization can be confusing on a state-by-state basis, with obscure wording and contradicting measures, MarieClaire.com broke down what those initiatives are, where they’re happening, and what they might mean for you.

Matthew RoharikGetty Images

Michigan Proposal 1

What is it?
A measure to legalize the use and possession of recreational marijuana for people over 21 in the state of Michigan. It would also allow people to grow up to 12 plants of their own.

Who’s into it?
The usual pro-cannabis suspects, including the Marijuana Policy Project, a PAC that promotes and helps fund initiatives to end marijuana prohibition nationwide.

What’s notable?
One of the big questions with this issue is what happens to the records of people who have been convicted of marijuana-related crimes once marijuana is legalized.

It’s so far been one of the trickiest elements of legalization in the states that have it, especially because it would be a reversal, some say, of the War on Drugs policy that has target people of color for incarceration for decades.

Many proponents of legalized marijuana believe that expungement of records (that is, wiping any marijuana offenses off a record entirely) should be tied to legalization efforts.

In Michigan, the proposal is currently to turn marijuana-related violations to “civil infractions.” That’s not expungement, and could be tricky to implement, but it’s a good sign that this concern is addressed right in the initiative’s wording.

Missouri Amendment 2

What is it?
It would legalize marijuana for medical use by allowing doctors to prescribe it to patients with qualifying medical conditions. It would incur a 4 percent tax that would go to medical services for veterans, which is a nice addition.

Who’s into it?
The biggest supporter of the initiative is a PAC called New Approach Missouri, which has NORML’s approval (NORML is the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and one of the most visible pro-legalization organizations).

What’s notable?
Missouri also has two other initiatives on the ballot that do basically the same thing but slightly differently. See below.

Missouri Amendment 3

What is it?
Same deal as Amendment 2, but instead of a 4 percent tax going to veteran health services, it’s a 15 percent tax that goes to the Biomedical Research and Drug Development Institute, an organization that would have to be invented should this initiative pass, and which would “be tasked with finding cures for diseases and generate income for the state from cures developed.” Cures would be available to residents at no cost, according to the initiative’s wording.

Who’s into it?
Mostly just the implausibly named Brad Bradshaw, a surgeon and personal injury attorney based Springfield (according to his website). He’s provided 99.999 percent of the funding for Find the Cures, the committee backing Amendment 3.

What’s notable?
Aside from Brad Bradshaw, notable in his own right? Mostly that this Amendment directly repudiates the language of Amendment 1, also on the ballot. In the case of both passing, the one with “the most affirmative votes prevails.” That’s fine for Amendment 2 and Amendment 3, but what about…

Missouri Proposition 3

What is it?
A state statute that would legalize marijuana for medical purposes, 2 percent sales tax, money going to “veterans’ services, drug treatment, education and law enforcement.”

Who’s into it?
Missourians for Patient Care, a PAC.

What’s notable?
Because it’s a proposition instead of an Amendment, if it passes alongside Amendment 2 or Amendment 3, it will be up to the courts to decide which actually gets implemented (there’s no defacto handling for a state statute).

Seth Ryan / EyeEmGetty Images

North Dakota Measure 3

What is it?
Marijuana Legalization and Automatic Expungement Initiative! It would legalize recreational use for people over 21, and create a process to automatically expunge the records of people who’ve been convicted of now-legal controlled substance violations.

Who’s into it?
Legalize ND is the PAC in charge of it, and NORML has also backed it.

What’s notable?
This is a pretty impressively sweeping law, the result of grassroots efforts that have parlayed wide public support for marijuana legalization into legislative action. A poll from Pew in January shows that 61 percent of Americans think marijuana should be legalized.

The expungement would happen for anyone who’s been convicted of activities related to drugs that are now-legal, and their records would be automatically expunged and sealed. That's a lot more responsible than many of the initiatives we've seen in the past.

Utah Proposition 2

What is it?
A “yes” vote would make medical marijuana legal.

Who’s into it?
A PAC called the Utah Patients Coalition, with the Marijuana Policy and Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education (TRUCE) both support it.

What’s notable?
Drug Safe Utah is in opposition, which counts the Utah Medical Association and D.A.R.E. Utah among their coalition members.

Information about initiatives gathered from Ballotpedia.org, a bipartisan election resource.

Morgan McMullen

From explainers to essays, cheat sheets to candidate analysis, we're breaking down exactly what you need to know about this year's midterms. Visit Marie Claire's Midterms Guide for more.

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Источник: https://www.marieclaire.com/politics/a23461237/weed-midterm-elections-2018/

All Marijuana Legalization Vote Results In Midterm Elections 2018 By State

Midterms and marijuana: These states voted to approve

MANDEL NGANGetty Images

Tuesday's midterm election was a whopper. Voter turnout broke records. Democrats took the House, led by women and candidates of color. Republicans held onto the Senate and pulled victories in highly contested battles.

And in four states—Michigan, North Dakota, Utah, and Missouri—Americans voted on whether they wanted to continue the wave of progressive cannabis reform. Well, weed-loving folks, the news is positive. In Michigan, voters decided to support the full legalization of recreational marijuana use.

In deeply conservative Utah, the votes went for legalizing medical marijuana, as they did in Missouri.

So today, we woke up in a country where recreational weed is legal in 10 states—including, finally, a state in the Midwest—and medical marijuana is legal in 33 states. We're inching closer and closer to federal action, and with it criminal justice reform and the purging of laws that are aggressively punitive towards people of color. That's something to get stoked about.

This is how the voting turned out in the four states where marijuana initiatives were on the ballot.

Proposal 1

The results: Michigan residents voted for the legalization of recreational marijuana.

What that means: When it goes into effect, Michigan residents 21 and older will be allowed to use marijuana and marijuana edibles. They can “possess, use, transport, or process” up to 2.5 ounces (or 15 grams of marijuana concentrate).

They can grow up to 12 marijuana plants and store up to 10 ounces in their private residences. However, local municipalities have the ability to outlaw dispensaries within their borders. Public use is prohibited.

And people arrested for marijuana-related charges before Prop 1 was passed will not have their records wiped.

When it goes into effect: It takes 10 days for the election to be certified, so it should be legal in early December. But dispensaries probably won't start selling until 2020, according to the Detroit Free Press. State legislature might also decide to change the wording of the proposal before it comes law, but that would require a three-quarters majority vote.

Measure 3

The results: North Dakota residents voted against the legalization of recreational marijuana, and with it significant criminal justice reform, according to the Bismarck Tribune. (Read more about failed Measure 3 here.)

Proposition 2

The results: Utah residents voted for the legalization of medical marijuana, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

What that means: Medical marijuana is now legal in Utah for people with qualifying medical conditions. It will be closely regulated by the state, which will set up approved dispensaries—a.k.a. pharmacies.

Medical marijuana card holders will be permitted to purchase two ounces of unprocessed cannabis in a two-week period. If they live more than 100 miles away from a pharmacy, they will be able to grow six plants in their home.

Smoking marijuana is still illegal, but other forms edibles and oils for vaping will be allowed.

However, the state legislature is expected to change the wording of Proposition 2 before it becomes law, so stay tuned.

When it goes into effect: Supposedly after Utah lawmakers hold their special session to fiddle with the wording of Prop 2.

Amendment 2, Amendment 3, and Proposition C

The results: Missouri residents voted for the legalization of medical marijuana, KSHB in Kansas City reports. Of three ballot initiatives on medical marijuana, they passed Amendment 2, the initiative most medical marijuana policy in other states. (Read about the failed Amendment 3 and Proposition C here.)

What that means: Medical marijuana will be legal for Missouri residents with a doctor's recommendation. They will be able to possess at least a 60-day supply (the state will set an exact limit) and grow six plants in their homes. There will be a 4 percent sales tax on medical marijuana, with revenue going towards veteran services.

When it goes into effect: To be determined.

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Источник: https://www.esquire.com/lifestyle/a24750209/marijuana-legalization-vote-results-midterm-elections-2018/

Midterms and marijuana: These states voted to approve

Tuesday’s midterm elections could make recreational marijuana legal in two more states.

Voters who show up to the polls in Michigan and North Dakota on November 6 decide whether to green-light recreational use. If approved, the states will join nine others, plus Washington D.C., where recreational use is already legal — Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Colorado, Alaska, Vermont, Maine and Massachusetts.

Less aggressive cannabis-related measures are at stake in Missouri, Utah, Florida and Ohio. And races in Florida and Kentucky, viewed by some as referendums on pot, could tip the lihood of expanded legalization.

Here’s a closer look at state ballot initiatives and races across the country.

Credit: Yahoo Finance/David Foster

Michigan

Michigan’s Hemp Legalization Initiative, or Proposal 1, would legalize recreational use for those 21 and older, yet leave it up to municipalities whether to keep recreational use illegal and ban or restrict commercial enterprise within their boundaries.

If passed, the bill would permit industrial hemp production and let individuals grow up to 12 cannabis plants at a time. Public consumption would remain prohibited. Michigan’s bill proposes one of the lowest cannabis tax levels in the nation.

Retailers would pay a 10 percent excise tax, proceeds of which would go to local governments, education and infrastructure expenses, and consumers would pay a 6 percent sales tax, the same rate already imposed on the state’s retail goods.

Polling conducted in Michigan between October 25 -27 by The Detroit News shows 57% of ly voters in favor of legalized recreational use.

North Dakota

North Dakota’s Measure 3 initiative takes its legalization bill one step further, matching Michigan’s 21-year-old age requirement, plus providing automatic expungement of criminal records for certain drug offense convictions, including certain marijuana violations.

Critics say the bill doesn’t go far enough because it fails to lay out regulatory and enforcement details. All marijuana sales in North Dakota would fall under the state sales tax of 5 percent, with additional local taxes that range from 5 percent to 8.

5 percent, according to Cole Haymond, a Connecticut resident and Advisor for Legalize ND who joined the effort to legalize marijuana in North Dakota.

North Dakota polls have been mixed, with an October 11 – 14 poll finding 51% of ly voters in favor of legalized recreational use and 36% against, contrary to an earlier October poll finding 59% against the measure, 30% in favor, and 11% undecided.

Florida

On Florida’s November ballot, voters will have the chance to repeal a state constitutional provision that keeps alleged and convicted marijuana drug offenders on the hook, even if the state decriminalizes the drug.

Amendment 11 would relax the current rule that says violators can still be prosecuted even if the state’s criminal statutes are amended. The governor’s race in Florida is also viewed by some as a referendum on recreational legalization.

Democratic candidate and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum supports recreational legalization. His opponent, U.S. Representative Ron DeSantis, has expressed concern about marijuana getting into the hands of minors.

DeSantis voted against a measure that would have made marijuana access and use easier for veterans. Both candidates support medicinal use, which is already permitted under state law.

Kentucky

In Kentucky, marijuana use remains fully illegal, though both Republican and Democratic lawmakers are behind proposals for change.

Republican state senator, Dan Seum, who led a legislative effort introducing SB 80 to legalize recreational cannabis beginning in January this year, is vying for reelection.

He and other lawmakers view legalization as a way to dig the state mounting debt by bringing in an estimated $100 million in new tax revenues. The state’s House Bill HB 166 stalled in March, which would have made marijuana available for certain patients with “qualifying debilitating illness.”

Missouri

Missouri voters are slated to decide on medical marijuana with Amendment 2.

If approved, a medical use enterprise tax will be assessed to sellers with 15 percent going to a new Biomedical Research and Drug Development Institute that would conduct research on cancer and other diseases, plus act as an industry regulator.

A 2 percent tax would go to a collective pool for veteran healthcare, childhood education, drug treatment and public safety, and an additional 4 percent towards veteran healthcare.

Ohio

Ohio’s Issue 1, the Drug and Criminal Justice Policies Initiative, asks voters whether a state constitutional amendment should downgrade felony drug possession and use offenses to misdemeanors. The downgrade would include marijuana use and possession offenses.

Utah

Midterm voters in Utah will decide on the state’s Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative Proposition 2 that would permit medical use for medical card holders with qualifying illnesses.

If passed, it would authorize a limited number of licensed facilities to cultivate, test and dispense marijuana, and permit medical card holders to grow up to six marijuana plants. Opponents of the bill say its imposition of limited dispensaries will force consumers to rely on the black market, defeating the measure’s intent.

Under Utah’s current law, only the state is authorized to grow, process or sell cannabis, and sales are limited to people who are terminally ill with less than 6 months to live and “qualified research institutions.”

Wisconsin

A set of questions on the ballots in 16 Wisconsin Counties will ask voters their preferences on recreational versus medicinal marijuana legalization. Answers can then be shared with state lawmakers to guide state policies on cannabis use. The state currently limits medical marijuana use to low level THC cannabinoid products.

*This article has been updated to include recent polling data for Michigan and North Dakota.

Alexis Keenan is a New York-based reporter for Yahoo Finance. She previously produced live news for CNN and MSNBC and is a former litigation attorney.

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Midterms and marijuana: These states voted to approve

DENVER — Legal pot is poised to spread further across the country this Election Day, with millions of voters casting ballots that could roll back marijuana prohibition in two states and expand access to medical cannabis in two others.

In North Dakota, voters may approve what would be the nation's most permissive recreational marijuana laws, allowing adults to grow, consume and possess as much pot as they want, without government oversight.

And in Utah, the state's conservative residents are virtually guaranteed to see medical cannabis laws approved thanks to a deal struck between legalization advocates and religious leaders staunchly opposed to even alcohol and caffeine.

Meanwhile, Michiganders are widely expected to approve a system to legalize, tax and regulate recreational pot, and Missourians are considering three competing measures permitting medical use.

The ballot measures come at a time when the majority of U.S. states have already embraced some form of legal pot. Nine states permit recreational marijuana use, along with the District of Columbia. And 29 states plus D.C. permit medical marijuana use by large numbers of people. Alabama and Mississippi have also allowed its use, but by only a small number of extremely sick people.

Marijuana remains entirely illegal at the federal level, although 66 percent of Americans support legal recreational cannabis, according to an October poll by Gallup. 

“Clearly the national momentum is on our side and we see that in national polls, but national polls don't dictate state-level results,” said Matthew Schweich, deputy-director of the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project. “We still have a fight on our hands in every single state where we're trying to legalize.”

In North Dakota, voters are considering Measure 3, which in addition to fully legalizing recreational marijuana, would also expunge many marijuana-related criminal records.

Un many other legalization measures, however, Measure 3 does not create a system to tax and regulate marijuana sales. Instead it permits residents to grow unlimited amounts of marijuana and then sell it tax-free.

In other states that have legalized pot, anyone growing marijuana for sale is strictly regulated, and the amount people can buy is tightly controlled.

The measure, which hews to libertarian ideals, also repeals any state laws addressing marijuana, which opponents say would permit stoned driving or smoking indoors. North Dakotans two years ago approved a medical marijuana system that only just got up and running this week, and many legalization advocates have been frustrated by what they saw as the slow pace to implementation.

The chance this measure could pass — and some polls suggest it might — has alarmed the state's political establishment because it would take effect in 30 days.

“It’s a wide-open, no-holds-barred, no-limits on anything, no-oversight, poorly written measure,” said Norm Robinson, campaign manager for North Dakotans Against the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana.

The measure's backers say they're comfortable the proposal's language accomplishes their goals of broad legalization with little government intervention. Defense attorneys across the state are already asking judges to postpone sentencing in marijuana-related cases, arguing their clients will get their records expunged automatically if the measure passes.

UTAH

Utah's marijuana debate has drawn national attention to a battle between the pro-legalization Utah Patients Coalition and the powerful Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which opposes the plan.

However, a last-minute compromise brokered among the church, initiative backers and the state's political establishment has laid the groundwork for medical pot in Utah regardless of whether Prop. 2 passes.

Utah has about 3 million residents.

Marijuana products and plants on display at The Green Solution dispensary in Denver, Colorado. (Photo: Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY Network)

“There's a lot of voters who support marijuana in principle but didn't want to go in opposition of the LDS church,” Schweich said. “The important thing about Utah is that we have made a compromise with our opponents.”

Up until a few weeks ago, Utah's measure enjoyed strong support, but that eroded as the LDS church formally opposed the plan and opponents began running highly critical radio ads warning this was a step toward full legalization. 

The two sides then agreed on a more conservative compromise measure that state legislators will take up soon after the election. Under Utah law, lawmakers are free to amend or repeal voter-approved ballot measures, and Schweich said the compromise ensures something will pass regardless of the actual public vote outcome.

More than 60 percent of the state's residents are LDS members, and are taught to avoid alcohol, coffee and most kinds of tea, along with tobacco and illegal drugs.

The church maintains a powerful influence over the state's government, but LDS leaders agreed to the compromise measure that bans residents from growing their own cannabis, and tries to establish a state-run medical marijuana distribution network.

Smoking cannabis would remain illegal under the measure, but sick people would be able to eat marijuana-infused foods or use vape pens.

Schweich said the compromise plans provide a clear path forward, even if voters reject Prop. 2: “They're better than nothing, and they provide a path to access to patients and a path on which we can build for the future.”

MICHIGAN

Michigan’s Proposal 1 enjoys strong support, according to a Detroit Free Press poll, with as much as 57 percent of voters in favor. Michigan voters legalized medical marijuana in 2008. Neighboring Canada on Oct. 17 legalized marijuana sales for adults, adding additional pressure on Michigan to follow its lead.

Opponents say Michigan voters need to consider the long-term implications of their decision, and suggest the tax revenues will fall far short of funding increased drug-treatment and campaigns to keep kids from using cannabis. Proposal 1 creates a system to regulate, tax and sell marijuana to adults.

“I wonder if there would be anything left for Michigan other than a bad policy that will affect the state for decades to come,” said Scott Greenlee, director of Healthy and Productive Michigan, a group opposing the ballot proposal.

More: Michigan's legal weed, anti-gerrymandering, voter access proposals lead big

MISSOURI

In Missouri, voters are choosing between three plans: Amendment 2, Amendment 3 and Prop. C. All three would legalize growing, manufacturing, selling and consuming marijuana and marijuana products for medicinal use at the state level. Under state law, the measure that gets the most votes goes into effect, and the Constitutional amendments would trump the proposition.

Prop C would tax marijuana sales at 2 percent; proceeds would be split four ways to fund veterans health care, public safety, drug treatment programs and early childhood development initiatives.

 Amendment 2 would tax marijuana sales at 4 percent, with the resulting proceeds going to fund veterans health care programs. This is the only proposal that would allow for home-growing of marijuana.

 

Kennya Anderson of Chicago passes a joint to her friend as marijuana smoke trickles from her lips during the Denver 420 rally. (Photo: Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY Network)

Amendment 3 would tax sales by growers to dispensaries at $9.25 per ounce for marijuana flowers and $2.75 per ounce for leaves and would tax sales by dispensaries to patients at 15 percent.

The proceeds — projected to be by far the most of the three measures — would go toward setting up a research institute and efforts to cure currently incurable diseases, with money set aside to acquire land for the institute's campus and to fund transportation infrastructure, medical care, public pensions and income tax refunds.

More: Have questions about your medical marijuana votes in Missouri? Here are some answers

Contributing: Detroit Free Press, Springfield News-Leader

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