According to the poll conducted by the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California in Berkeley, 63.8% of those in the state support legalizing recreational cannabis. According to a news release by the college, “Support was highest among African Americans (71.9 percent) and Latinos (69.3 percent) and lowest among Asian-Americans (57.7 percent). Support for legalization was also highest among 18- to 24-year-olds, and lowest among those over 65.”
By Phillip Smith, StoptheDrugWar.org
Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan last week certified a marijuana legalization initiative for the November ballot, setting the stage for a national election that will see the issue go directly to the voters in five states, including California, the nation’s most populous.
Four states have already legalized marijuana at the ballot box, Colorado and Washington in 2012 and Alaska and Oregon in 2014. The District of Columbia also legalized marijuana—but not commercial sales—in 2014.
But those states combined only have a population of about 17 million people. Winning California alone would more than double that figure and winning all five states would triple it. If all five states vote for pot, we could wake up on November 9 with nearly a quarter of the nation living under marijuana legalization.
Arizona officials today announced that the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted enough valid signatures for their cannabis legalization initiative to be placed on the November ballot; it will appear as Proposition 205.
The group submitted 258,582 signatures at the end of June, far greater than than the 150,642 required to put the measure to a vote of the people this November, though it took until today for the state to verify that enough of the signatures were valid (from registered Arizona voters).
This November Massachusetts voters will be given the option of passing Question 4, The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, which would allow adults to possess up to 10 ounces of cannabis, cultivate up to six plants for personal use, and would establish a system of state-licensed retail outlets and cultivation centers. Now, not long after the measure officially qualified for the November ballot, a large group of state legislators have endorsed the initiative.
Those endorsing the initiative include; Senators Will Brownsberger (D-Belmont), Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) and Pat Jehlen (D-Cambridge), as well as Representatives David Rogers (D-Cambridge), Marjorie C Decker (D-Cambridge), Tom Sannicandro (D-Framingham), Michael Moran (D-Brighton), Jay Livingstone (D-Boston), Brian Mannal (D-Centerville) and Mary Keefe (D-Worcester).
In exactly 100 days – on November 8th – the 2016 general election will take place, and voters in six states will have the opportunity to legalize cannabis for everyone 21 and older; voters in two additional states will be given the ability to legalize medical cannabis.
Here’s a look at these eight initiatives:
Question 2 would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, as well as the personal cultivation of up to six cannabis plants, for those 21 and older. Cannabis retail outlets – supplied by licensed cultivation centers – would also be legalized. (This is all similar to the other state’s initiatives).
Maine officials on Wednesday announced that an initiative to legalize recreational cannabis for everyone 21 and older has officially qualified for this year’s general election ballot, meaning it will be voted on this November.
“This November, Maine voters will have the opportunity to adopt a more sensible marijuana policy”, says David Boyer, Campaign Manager for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. “It is time to replace the underground market with a regulated system of licensed marijuana businesses. It is time to redirect our state’s limited law enforcement resources toward addressing serious crimes instead of enforcing failed prohibition policies. And it is time to stop punishing adults for using a substance that is significantly less harmful than alcohol.”
The Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office has certified 70,739 signatures submitted by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, sending it to a vote of the legislature and clearing the way for the petition to be placed on the 2016 general election ballot.
“Today’s announcement confirms that the people of Massachusetts want to vote on an initiative to regulate marijuana and end the practice of punishing adults for using a substance less harmful than alcohol,” says Campaign Manager Will Luzier. “We are excited to have reached this milestone and look forward to the legislative debate over the benefits of ending prohibition and regulating and taxing marijuana.”
In Ohio, early voting is already underway for Issue 3, a controversial initiative to legalize recreational cannabis for those 21 and older, which is on the November 8th general election ballot. The “controversial” portion of the initiative isn’t that it would legalize cannabis, it’s how it would do it, establishing what many are calling a monopoly on retail cannabis cultivation. Despite this aspect of the measure, which we agree is an issue that should be addressed by state lawmakers if the initiative passes, the massively positive changes the proposal would make to the state’s cannabis laws make it far worth a “Yes” vote.
Similar to legalization laws passed in Colorado, Washington and Alaska, Ohio’s initiative would allow those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis, and purchase it from a state-licensed retail outlet. Unlike those three states, Ohio’s proposal would allow adults to purchase a license ($50) from a newly-created Ohio Marijuana Control Commission allowing them to possess up to eight ounces, and cultivate an unlimited number of sprouting cannabis plants, with up to four allowed to be in the flowering stage.
Advocates of a Florida initiative to legalize the possession, personal cultivation and distribution of cannabis by reclassifying it as a dietary supplement have begun collecting signatures with the goal of putting the measure to a vote next year.
The Cannabis as a Dietary Supplement for Personal and Medical Use; Funding for Teacher Salaries Act, put forth by the Florida Organization of Reform, would allow those 21 and older to possess up to three ounces of cannabis, and cultivate up to ten cannabis plants. Cannabis retail outlets would also be allowed, with the Department of Business handling licensing, and with a majority if the taxes going to fund teacher salaries.
Ohio’s Attorney General Mike DeWine has given approval to an initiative to legalize cannabis, put forth by Legalize Marijuana and Hemp in Ohio. Once the initiative is approved by the Ohio Ballot Board, advocates will be given the go-ahead to begin collecting signatures in an attempt to put it to a vote this November. The proposal is separate from a legalization initiative put forth by ResponsibleOhio, which is also aiming for this November’s ballot.
Legalize Marijuana and Hemp in Ohio will now be required to collect 305,591 signatures from registered Ohio voters in half of Ohio’s 88 counties by July 1st in order to put the initiative on this year’s general election ballot.