Today, voters in five states--Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada--are voting on whether or not to legalize marijuana for recreational use, and voters in four states--Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota--are considering measures on the legality of marijuana for medicinal purposes. If the recreational measures pass, this means that marijuana will be legal for recreational usage in a total of nine states, plus the District of Columbia, and will be legal for medicinal usage in well over the majority of states.
Here's a state-by-state breakdown:
Voters in Arizona will consider Proposition 205, which will legalize the private possession and use of marijuana for adults over the age of 21. Adults will not be permitted to smoke in public, and a person may grow up to six plants for their own use. It will also create the Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control to further regulate marijuana in the state. Marijuana and marijuana products sold in the state will be taxed at a rate of 15 percent. Medical marijuana has been legal in Arizona since 2010.
Polls in Arizona have shown slight support for legalization.
California was effectively the birthplace of the marijuana legalization movement, and was the first state to legalize marijuana for medicinal use. Now, Californians are voting on Proposition 64, which would legalize the private use and possession of marijuana by adults over the age of 21. Marijuana will be subject to a 15 percent excise tax.
Polls suggest that this one is gonna pass.
Mainers will head to the polls today to vote on Question 1, which would legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana in the state.
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?
If passed, adults aged 21 and over would be permitted to possess and use up to two and a half ounces marijuana and will be permitted to grow up to six mature plants. The initiative does not allow people to smoke in public. Marijuana will be subject to a 10 percent tax if the question passes. Medical marijuana has been legal in Maine since 1999.
Polling has shown support for legalization, but it will likely be a very close result.
The Bay State is considering Question 4, which would allow adults over the age of 21 to possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana within their residence and possess one ounce outside their residence. They would also be permitted to grow up to six plants. The law would also create a regulatory agency.
This one is probably going to pass too.
Question 2 on the Nevada ballot will legalize the purchase, possession, and consumption of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults over the age of 21. A person will be permitted to grow up to six plants. Marijuana has been legal for medicinal purposes in Nevada since 2000.
Polling on this one will likely go down to the wire.
Arkansas is voting on Issue 6, which would legalize marijuana only for medicinal purposes in the state. In 2012, a similar measure was narrowly defeated. This year, polls are indicating that it's going to be a close one.
Floridians will be voting on Amendment 2, which would legalize marijuana for the treatment of specific medical conditions, and would expand the existing medical marijuana program. A similar ballot question was narrowly defeated in 2014--despite receiving majority support, it did not receive over 60 percent necessary to be enacted.
Initiative 182 in Montana would expand the state's existing medical marijuana system.
North Dakota is voting on Measure 5, which would legalize marijuana to treat cancer, AIDS, hepatitis C, ALS, glaucoma, and epilepsy.