It’s been two years since the last round of ballot initiatives were voted on during the 2016 election – a time when many states approved either recreational or medicinal cannabis legalization. Now, activists will again see the final fruits of their labors and their efforts to raise awareness on the issue of legalization. This is especially important considering that midterm elections often see far fewer voters.
In total, there will be four states voting on cannabis legalization; Michigan and North Dakota will be voting on recreational cannabis, while Utah and Missouri will vote on medical marijuana. Here’s a quick look at the ballot initiatives in each state – and the likelihood that they will pass come election day.
In Michigan, activists have been working hard since long before the 2016 election to get recreational marijuana legalized. However, efforts fell short of the ballot last time. This time around, Proposal 1 will ask voters to allow adults 21 or older to possess 2.5 ounces or less of cannabis in public, and up to 10 ounces at home. It would also allow home growing of up to 12 plants for personal consumption, as well as create a regulated commercial market. The initiative appears to have strong support, according to recent polls.
Like Michigan, North Dakota will be voting on legalizing the adult use of cannabis this November – but Measure 3 is much different from Michigan’s Proposal 1. Measure 3 would legalize cannabis by removing “hashish, marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinols” from the state’s list of Schedule I substances and prohibit the prosecution of anyone over 21 years old engaging in non-violent cannabis-related activity – including person to person sales, except sales to those under 21 years old. However, the loose initiative would not create a commercial market, which makes this initiative seem less likely to pass.
There are still many states where medical marijuana is illegal – but soon Utah might no longer be on that list. Proposition 2 would legalize the production and distribution of medical marijuana and consumption by any individual with at least one of 10 qualifying conditions – if they obtain a recommendation from their doctor. Support for this measure is high, with 68 percent in favor of the initiative across nine different polls conducted between February and October 2018.
Things get a little more complicated for voters in Missouri as they will have three separate measures to consider when it comes to legalizing medical marijuana. Amendment 2, Amendment 3 and Proposition C would all legalize production, distribution and consumption of medical marijuana – but the lists of qualifying conditions vary, as well as the amounts of medicine that individuals could keep at home and the potential of having home cultivation as an option. Even though 54 percent of Missouri voters think medical marijuana should be legal, it may come down to not enough votes for any one measure to pass.
Early voting has already begun and Election Day will roll around faster than seems possible. If you’re living in a state where marijuana legalization is being voted on, be sure to do your research on the ballot initiative – and if you support what activists are trying to do, then get out and vote.
Even when it feels like your one vote couldn’t possibly make the difference, remember how many people say the same thing – and the impact that could be had if all those people decided to vote. Don’t miss your chance to help change history by voting to end outdated policies of prohibition for a more sensible one of regulation.