There Are Nine States With Marijuana Reform Laws On Their November Ballots–Here’s Who Is Trying To Change
We finally seem to be waking up from our long national nightmare.
Of course we’re talking here about U.S. drug policy, a ridiculous, reactionary hodgepodge resulting from decades of fear-mongering, the stoking of racial prejudices and pseudo-science posturing as reality. With 25 states on the books with laws permitting medical marijuana use, and two states–so far–allowing recreational use, it seems like the Drug Enforcement Agency really is behind the times. The agency shocked many observers when it announced a few weeks ago that marijuana would not be shifted from its list of Schedule 1 drugs–those deemed the most dangerous and said to be lacking in any medical use like LSD and heroin.
But as states like Colorado and Oregon have shown–and as the founders intended it–the Federal government doesn’t control everything. And although the next election in November may seem like an odious choice that will keep many voters home, here are nine states that are floating marijuana bills of various kinds, and which could use support.
• Arizona – The state’s Propostion 205 would allow recreational use of an ounce or less for adults 21 and over, as well as being able to grow up to six plants.
• Arkansas – The state is voting on whether to make marijuana legal for medical use, under the auspices of the state’s Department of Health, which would create the rules for patient health cards, as well as those for producers and sellers.
• California – The Golden State was a leader in the medical marijuana movement, legalizing it for medical use beginning in 1996. However, the most populous state in the union, whose economy produced $2.44 in gross domestic product in 2015, rivaling countries like France, India and Italy, is seeking to be in the vanguard once again with a law that would legalize marijuana for recreational use for people 21 and over, as well as legalizing hemp.
• Florida – Ah, Florida, not exactly forward-thinking on social issues, nonetheless The Sunshine State is proposing legal medical cannabis for a strict group of patients, suffering diseases like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, ALS, HIV and a few others.
• Maine – Maine has also allowed medical marijuana since the 1990s, and now seeks to join Oregon and Colorado in legalizing recreational use for adults 21 and over.
• Massachusetts – Legal for medical use already, the state’s proposed Question 4 would regulate marijuana much like alcohol.
• Montana – An addendum to the state’s previously passed medical marijuana law would open up patient access and allow workers to be hired to cultivate, transport and distribute medical weed.
• Nevada – Straightforward here: their ballot question would allow people 21 and over to possess and use up to an ounce recreationally. In a state with legal prostitution, the only surprise is how far behind they are.
• North Dakota – Their ballot measure would allow medical cards to be issued for patients with certain conditions, and also allow said patients to grow up to eight plants for personal use if they live over 40 miles from a dispensary.