The US midterm elections have passed and three out of for states that put marijuana on the ballot have successfully passed their initiatives.
The United States is becoming greener by the year.
Three states legalized cannabis overnight, while in one state voters voted heavily against the idea of legalizing marijuana.
Given that the elections also brought up the question of voting for your favorite legislators, it would be silly not to mention that the Democrats took power in the House.
Texas, for the win?
The Senate, however, is a completely different story. The Republicans clenched their fist on the Senate even harder, winning more seats.
Out of all cannabis favorites, Beto O’Rourke lost his race against Ted Cruz for the Senate.
Many spectators were passionate about O’Rourke as he was a strong proponent of legalization.
However, even more importantly, Republican Pete Sessions of Texas who was the chairman of the House Rules Committee lost to his Democratic challenger.
This is of huge importance because while on that Committee he blocked votes on all proposed cannabis amendments.
The Democratic challenger, soon to be incumbent Congressmen Collin Allred, is a strong proponent of medical marijuana.
Michigan became the 10th state to legalize
Michigan voted on Proposition 18-1 and approved it as it is. The state ballot made Michigan the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana.
Proposition 18-1 included allowing the possession of up to 2.5 ounces or up to 10 ounces at a private residence, for adults over 21 years of age.
It also allows for the following:
- Allow individuals 21 and older to purchase, possess and use marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles, and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal consumption;
- Impose a 10-ounce limit for marijuana kept at residences and require amounts over 2.5 ounces be secured in locked containers;
- Create a state licensing system for marijuana businesses and allow municipalities to ban or restrict them;
- Permit retail sales of marijuana and edibles subject to a 10% tax, dedicated to implementation costs, clinical trials, schools, roads, and municipalities where marijuana businesses are located;
- Change several current violations from crimes to civil infractions.
You can also read the full text of Proposition 18-1.
One of three medical marijuana ballots approved
Missouri is a story for itself perhaps. Three legalization efforts were proposed on the Missouri ballot. One initiative was passed.
The three initiatives all suggested a different approach to legalizing medical marijuana in Missouri.
The reason for proposing 3 different measures were disagreements over what Missouri’s medical marijuana program should look like.
Proposition C – Not approved
Proposition C would impose a 2% tax on marijuana sales, and the revenue would be set for veterans’ services, drug treatment, early childhood education, and public safety.
If a patient didn’t have a qualifying condition under the law, Proposition C would still let the patient get permission to use medical marijuana with a doctor’s approval.
Proposition C would not allow for home growing.
Amendment 3 – Not approved
Amendment 3 would impose a 15% tax on marijuana sales, additional taxes in other areas of production and sales. The revenue would primarily be dedicated to a research institute that would try to find cures and treatments for cancers and other medical conditions.
This measure was more limiting than Proposition C, as it would not allow for patients without qualifying conditions to apply for a medical card.
Amendment 3 also wouldn’t allow for growing at home if it was passed.
Amendment 2 – Approved
Amendment 2 was the most liberal measure offered on the ballot. It would impose a 4% tax on marijuana sales, and the funds would be used mainly to pay for services for military veterans.
This measure allows for growing cannabis at home and it allows patients to get permission for medical marijuana with a doctor’s approval, even without qualifying conditions.
Utah approves medical marijuana
Voters in Utah approved the ballot legalizing medical marijuana, under the name Proposition 2.
Proposition 2 will allow for patients to acquire medical marijuana which will serve to help them treat serious illnesses, such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, MS and chronic pain.
The addition of chronic pain to the list of qualifying conditions is due to the possibility of opioid overdose, as marijuana has been found to be a good pain management replacement.
Proposition 2 prohibits smoking marijuana, and instead allows vaping, edibles, and other methods of consumption.
Residents of Utah will be allowed to grow 6 plants for personal medical use, but only if they live more than 100 miles from the nearest dispensary.
ND voted heavily against legalizing
North Dakota surprisingly legalized medical marijuana several years ago.
That medical cannabis ballot initiative was approved with a 64% support.
This year residents of North Dakota had the chance to legalize recreational marijuana by voting on this year’s ballot.
The initiative which wasn’t passed would have set no limit on the amount of marijuana that people could possess or cultivate.
Voters struck it down with 81% percent of ballots voting against.