Election Day 2016 should prove to be historic for the legal cannabis industry. Residents in a total of nine states are voting on major reform measures. Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada will vote on legalizing the recreational use of cannabis for adults. Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota will vote on legalizing medical cannabis. We will be updating our election results for each state as they come in. Stay tuned!
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Proposition 205 permits adults to carry up to one ounce, grow up to six plants, and consume marijuana in non-public spaces. Retail marijuana sales would incur a 15-percent tax.
Voting Results: Rejected (52%-48%).
Proposition 64 allows adults age 21 and older to possess and use marijuana for recreational purposes. It creates two new taxes, one levied on cultivation and the other on retail price. Revenue from the taxes will be spent on drug research, treatment, and enforcement; health and safety grants addressing marijuana; youth programs; and preventing environmental damage resulting from illegal marijuana production.
Voting Results: Approved (56%-44%)
Currently, medical marijuana is legal in Maine but recreational marijuana is not. Question 1 will legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana in Maine as an agricultural product. It allows individuals over the age of 21 to possess and use marijuana and provides for the licensure of retail facilities and marijuana social clubs. Question 1 directs that the marijuana industry be regulated by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry; that municipalities may limit the operation of retail stores; and that a 10-percent tax be placed on marijuana sales.
Voting Results: Approved 50.1-49.9%.
Currently, cannabis is permitted only for medicinal purposes. Under the new law, individuals at least 21 years old would be able to use, grow, and possess marijuana. Question 4 stipulates individuals could possess less than ten ounces of marijuana inside their homes and less than one ounce in public. They also could grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes.
Voting results: Approved. (54%-46%)
Nevada voters have had a long time to think about Question 2, which has been on the November ballot for eighteen months. Over that time, support for the measure has grown modestly but steadily. A Rasmussen/KTNV poll conducted in late September found 53 percent of respondents were in favor of the legalization of cannabis, 39 percent were opposed, and 8 percent were unsure.
Voting Results: Approved. (54%-46%)
Arkansas will vote on issue 6. If approved, issue 6 would legalize medical marijuana for 17 qualifying conditions, creating a Medical Marijuana Commission, and allocating tax revenue to technical institutes, vocational schools, workforce training, and the General Fund.
Voting Results: Approved. (53%-47%)
Amendment 2 requires 60 percent of the vote in order to pass. In 2014, a medical marijuana ballot initiative fell 2.4-percent shy of approval. This year, supporters believe they have the votes to meet the threshold, and recent polling puts support for the initiative above 70 percent. In contrast with the 2014 effort, the 2016 measure clarifies requirements for parental consent for the use of medical marijuana by minors and also further defines what is meant by “debilitating” illnesses that would qualify for marijuana as a treatment option. The 2016 measure also addresses concerns regarding caregivers by making it clear doctors would not be immune from malpractice claims for negligent prescribing of marijuana, and by limiting how many patients a caregiver can treat with marijuana.
Voting Results: Approved. (71%-29%)
Montana voters approved medical marijuana at the polls in 2004 with 64 percent support, but the Montana legislature repealed the act in 2011 and replaced it with SB 423 which, among other changes, makes it much harder for patients to prove they suffer from “severe chronic pain.” The new law, which goes into effect this year, has been called “unworkable for patients and providers” by supporters of I-182, which liberalizes patient and provider access to one another and the plant and addresses product safety protocols.
Voting Results: Approved. (57%-43%)
Statutory Measure 5 will be the first opportunity for North Dakotans to vote on a cannabis-related ballot measure. A similar measure failed to reach the ballot in 2012. In 2015, the North Dakota legislature also defeated two bills that would have legalized medical cannabis in the state. There is no recent polling to indicate the will of the people, but a 2014 poll on the general merits of medical cannabis found that 47 percent of respondents supported the legalization of medical marijuana, while 41 percent were opposed, and 9 percent.
Voting Results: Approved. (64%-36%)
(Source for ballot descriptions: Ballotpedia)