With four states that already legalized recreational cannabis, you might be wondering which states will be the next to vote on cannabis legalization. This year has seen a record number of states with marijuana initiatives on the November ballot. Five of those nine states are voting whether or not they should legalize the recreational use of marijuana. It seems a god portion of the country is fuming after the DEA made the decision to keep marijuana federally illegal.
With five states voting to legalize marijuana, we could see recreational marijuana become available to about a quarter of the nation by the end of this year. Right now in the United States about 17 million people have access to recreational marijuana. That number could double from California voters passing their recreational marijuana initiative alone.
These are the next five states to vote on cannabis legalization on the ballot:
Arizona’s Proposition 205 initiative is sponsored by the Arizona Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. If passed, the initiative would grant persons over the age of 21 the right to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants within enclosed, locked spaces in their homes.
The initiative would create the Department of Marijuana License and Control. The Department would limit the number of marijuana retail shops to a tenth of the number of liquor store licenses, which was less than 180.
Proposition 205 would impose a 15% excise tax on retail sales, with 80% of revenue going towards schools. The other 20% would go to substance abuse education to help prevent or remedy any of the negative side effects that may arise from marijuana legalization.
Arizona has a medical cannabis program with 90,000 patients but recent polls showed the state was not in favor of legalization.
California’s Proposition 64 will be on the ballot. The initiative is called The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). It is sponsored by Yes on 64 and would permit anyone over 21 to possess up an ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants much like the Arizona measure. Gifting of up to a quarter-ounce of marijuana will be allowed if the proposition passes.
The initiative would make California the first state to have “cannabis cafes” that allow on-site marijuana consumption, similar to the ones in Amsterdam. Marijuana commerce would be regulated by a new Bureau of Marijuana Control, which could replace the current Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation.
The measure would impose a 15% retail sales tax and a $9.25 per ounce cultivation tax paid for by wholesalers. It’s worth noting the initiative provides no employment protections for consumers of marijuana.
Recent polls illustrate that 60% of Californians support the legalization of marijuana.
The Marijuana Legalization Act or Question 1, sponsored by the Maine Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, will be on the November ballot. The initiative would allow people 21 and over to posses up to two and a half ounces of marijuana or six plants.
The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry would regulate marijuana commerce, taxing retail marijuana at 10%.
The measure would also for “cannabis cafes” to be run similarly to bars, because you will need to be 21 to enter and guests will not be allowed to leave with their unfinished marijuana.
So far, campaign supporters have raised more funds than opponents of the initiative. Recent polling showed 55% of Maine is in favor of legalization.
The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act or Question 4, is a measure sponsored by the Massachusetts Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.
The Act would permit people 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana in public and up to 10 ounces at home. Residents of Massachusetts would be able to grow up to six plants. Legal marijuana commerce would be regulated by a Cannabis Control Commission. “Cannabis cafes” for indoor cannabis smoking would be permitted.
The measure would impose an additional 3.75% to the states 6.25% sales tax, for a total tax rate of 10% . Localities can ban legal marijuana commerce or add local taxes. Pot smoking employees will not be protected under the new law.
The most recent polling in MA had 41% of residents in favor of legalization and 50% against it.
The Initiative to Regulate and Tax Marijuana or Question 2 is sponsored by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Nevada. The measure would allow people 21 and over to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. Residents who live more than 25 miles from a retail marijuana store will be able to grow six plants.
If the measure passes, the state’s Department of Taxation will create and oversee a system of licensed marijuana commerce. The initiative would impose a 15% tax on wholesale marijuana sales, retail sales will have the regular state sales tax.
A two week old poll has the Nevada Measure winning 50% to 41%.
The majority of states with legalization measures on their ballot seem to be in favor of legalization. The poll numbers don’t guarantee that three of the five states will go legal.The ballot takes place on November 9th.