An initiative to decriminalize the possession of over an ounce of cannabis is up for a public vote next week on Tuesday, April 7th, in Wichita, Kansas’ largest city.
If approved into law, the initiative would decriminalize the possession of up to 32 grams of cannabis for those 21 and older, making it a simple $50 ticket, rather than the current penalty of a misdemeanor with the potential of up to a year in jail.
Advocates of the initiative submitted enough signatures on January 7th to put the measure before the City Council, which voted 6 to 1 to put it to a vote of the people on April 7th.
The group Mississippi for Cannabis has filed an initiative with the Mississippi Secretary of State in hopes of putting the legalization of cannabis to a vote of the people in the 2016 presidential election.
“Now we are waiting for official approval from the Mississippi Secretary of State, and the Attorney General which will include a ballot initiative number and the official format for the collection of signatures,” says Kelly Jacobs with Mississippi for Cannabis.
If the Secretary of State’s Office and Attorney General’s Office does approve the petition, the group will have a year to collect approximately 110,000 signatures from registered Mississippi voters in order to put the initiative to a vote in November, 2016.
With a little over a month before the election, advocates of Florida’s Amendment 2, an initiative to legalize medical cannabis, have launched their first video ad.
Amendment 2 – which is a constitutional amendment – would legalize the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis for those who receive a recommendation from a physician, and would authorize state-licensed dispensaries to distribute the medicine. Polling released last week found that 69% of voters in the state support the initiative; given its a constitutional amendment, it will require 60% of the vote, rather than the traditional 50%, to be passed into law.
New polling conducted by the Anzalone Liszt Grove Research group has found that 69% of Florida voters favor Amendment 2, an initiative to legalize medical cannabis which will be voted on November 4th. The poll found only 28% of voters in the state to be opposed to the initiative, which is a constitutional amendment, meaning it requires 60% of the vote to be passed into law.
“If you look at the poll numbers since the beginning of last year they are virtually unchanged, and they reassert what we’ve consistently said: Floridians overwhelmingly support medical marijuana,” said Ben Pollara, Campaign Manager for United for Care, the group behind Amendment 2. “Keeping medical decisions in the hands of doctors – not politicians – is simply not a controversial position for the vast majority of Floridians, and that has not changed over the last twenty-one months.”
The Marijuana Policy Project of Arizona has officially launched its campaign to legalize cannabis in the state, with the group planning to put an initiative on the 2016 presidential election ballot.
“Advocates of an effort to make marijuana legal for adults and regulated similarly to alcohol in Arizona in 2016 have filed paperwork with state elections officials, granting them permission to raise money to campaign for the citizen’s initiative”, says Alizeh Siddiqui of the Marijuana Policy Project. “[The initiative] will be fashioned after the voter-approved taxed and regulated recreational marijuana program in Colorado.”
An initiative to legalize cannabis has been placed on the February ballot in Montrose, Michigan. The proposal, put forth by the Coalition for a Safer Montrose, would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for those 21 and older.
The City of Montrose recently verified that enough valid signatures were submitted to put the measure before the City Council, which voted to put it to a vote of the people. However, the Council didn’t vote in time for the issue to be placed on the November ballot; instead, it will be put to a vote in February.
The Lewiston City Council has voted unanimously to put an initiative to legalize cannabis on this November’s ballot.
The Council was forced to vote on the issue after the group Citizens for a Safer Maine collected more than enough signatures to put their initiative to a vote, giving the Council the option of either passing the bill into law, or placing it on the November 4th ballot.
Activists in York, Maine submitted over 900 signatures yesterday to put their proposal to legalize cannabis to a vote, more than the 640 required. Once the city verifies that enough of the 900-plus signatures are valid (from registered York voters), the proposal will be sent to the City Council, which can either pass it into law, or place it on this November’s ballot.
The proposal, put forth by Citizens for a Safer Maine, would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for those 21 and older. Earlier this summer advocates submitted over 100 signatures for this initiative, enough to put it before the council, though they rejected it on a 3 to 2 vote. The group then decided to pursue the goal of 640 signatures, which would override the council’s vote and force them to vote on it again, but this time giving them the option of passing it or putting it to a vote of the people – they don’t have the ability to reject it entirely.
In a little over 10 weeks, on November 4th, voters in several cities and states will have the opportunity to continue the growing momentum behind the movement to end cannabis prohibition, and they’ll be able to do so in a big way.
In Oregon, voters will be deciding the fate of Measure 91, an initiative to legalize recreational cannabis for those 21 and older. By far the most progressive of the initiatives being voted on this year, Measure 91 would legalize the possession and use of up to half a pound (eight ounces) of cannabis, in addition to the private cultivation of up to four plants. State-licensed cannabis retail outlets will also be authorized and regulated by the Oregon Liquor Commission. According to a recent study, the initiative’s tax rate, which is said to be far more reasonable than rates in Colorado and Washington, will put cannabis prices at around $140 an ounce.