It’s just 11 weeks until election day 2016, which will be by far the most monumental day for cannabis law reform since the beginning of prohibition of in the 1930s. Five state – Nevada, Massachusetts, California, Maine and Arizona – will be voting on the legalization of recreational cannabis, and all eyes are on them for big victories this November.
In Nevada, Question 2 would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, the personal cultivation of up to six plants, and would authorize state-licensed cannabis retail outlets. Polling released last month found that 50% of voters in the state support legalization, with just 41% opposed, indicating it will be a close race, though there’s reason to be optimistic (the campaign in support of Question 2 also just purchased nearly a million dollars in television ads to promote the measure).
In California, Proposition 64 – the Adult Use of Marijuana Act – is almost identical to Nevada’s Question 2 in that it would legalize cannabis possession (an ounce), personal cultivation (six plants), and cannabis retail outlets (licensed by the state). Recent polling shows that this measure is more on track than any other this year to be passed into law, with 64% of voters in the state saying they support legalization.
In Arizona, the trend continues; Initiative 5 would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, and the personal cultivation of up to six cannabis plants, for those 21 and older. State-sanctioned cannabis cultivation centers and retail outlets would also be legalized. Recent polling shows that the measure has an uphill battle, with roughly 40% of voters in the state saying they support the measure, though there’s still plenty of time left for proponents to make their case.
In Massachusetts, Question 4, The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, would actually allow those 21 and older to possess up to ten ounces, though only in a private residence. Outside of that just an ounce is allowed. Cultivation of up to six plants is also allowed at a private residence, and the measure would establish a licensing system commercial production and retail sale. Unfortunately voters in Massachusetts are feeling the same way about legalization as those in Arizona – with around 41% in support, according to recent polling – so supporters of the measure should be doing all they can to spread the word.
In Maine, The following is the exact questioning that will appear on the ballot this November 8th; “Do you want to allow the possession and use of marijuana under state law by persons who are at least 21 years of age, and allow the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products subject to state regulation, taxation and local ordinance?”
Support for legalization in Maine is at a steady 55%, according to polling released in May.
In addition to the states mentioned in this article, Florida, Arkansas, North Dakota and most likely Oklahoma will be voting this November on the legalization of cannabis for medical use.