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.”
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).
By Sean Williams, The Motley Fool
This is going to be a transformative year for the United States. Not only are we set to vote in a new president for the first time in eight years this November, but we could also see the most rapid expansion of marijuana ever, with eight states now set to vote on recreational or medical cannabis initiatives or amendments this fall.
What’s at stake
The expansion of the cannabis industry was initially put in motion 20 years ago when California approved a compassionate use law for medical marijuana. Today, half of all U.S. states have approved a medical marijuana law. The two most recent approvals came from Pennsylvania and Ohio, which used the legislative process to pass medical cannabis laws.
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) today submitted 258,582 total signatures to the Arizona Secretary of State for their initiative to legalize cannabis for everyone 21 and older. This is far greater than than the 150,642 required to put the measure to a vote of the people this November.
“We are very encouraged by the strong levels of support and enthusiasm we found among voters during the petition drive,” says CRMLA Chairman J.P. Holyoak. “Arizonans are ready to end the antiquated policy of marijuana prohibition and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. We look forward to continuing the public conversation about the initiative, and we think most will agree it is a sensible step forward for our state.”
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.”
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.