Which States Will Legalize this November?

A lot of attention has been paid to Canada’s upcoming nationwide recreational legalization happening Wednesday, Oct. 17. — but what about the next U.S. states to legalize? Marijuana is legal for both recreational and medical use in nine states. It’s legal for medical use in 21 more states. Here is a 1-minute rundown on which states have cannabis legalization measures on their 2018 midterm ballots.

Michigan: “Proposal 1” [Currently: medical only]

The November vote would allow those 21 and older to possess, use, and buy marijuana for recreational use. Adults could grow up to 12 plants for personal use and the state government would license and regulate marijuana businesses, from growers to retail outlets. The rules would impose a 10 percent sales tax on weed, and revenue goes back into running and policing the pot biz, clinical research, education, infrastructure, and to municipalities with marijuana businesses. Local and municipal governments would be empowered to ban or restrict marijuana businesses.

So far most voters support the item according to Ballotpedia’s tracker.

North Dakota: “Measure 3” [Currently: medical is legal]

Measure 3 allows those 21+ to possess, use, grow, buy, and sell marijuana for recreational purposes. Those under 21 face penalties for possessing or attempting to distribute marijuana, and there are penalties for anyone distributing marijuana to those under 21. Perhaps most importantly – the measure expunges previous marijuana convictions from criminal records. A major barrier may end up that drafters have yet to craft regulation or taxation – this was done on purpose to leave the minutiae up to elected officials.

Public polling is limited — and mixed. According to Ballotpedia’s tracker, one poll in February found diversified support, but a follow-up in August found majority opposition.

Utah: “Proposition 2” [Currently: no legal cannabis]

Prop 2 creates a standard medical marijuana program whereby patients suffering from qualifying conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, chronic pain (if someone is at risk for opioid painkiller overdose or addiction), and multiple sclerosis. Medical patients may grow up to six plants for personal use, but only if they live more than 100 miles from a dispensary. The proposition allows only vaping and edibles —no smoking of flower. ‘Weed doctors’ will be banned via stipulations that they may not work for dispensaries (even though each dispensary will be required to have a licensed pharmacist on staff) or prescribe cannabis to more than 20 percent of their patients, and will still be required to undergo training. State officials will regulate the process from seed to sale. A new compromise may also take effect, which bans edibles, along with other arguably over-the-top restrictions.

Ballotpedia’s tracker reports Proposition 2 has strong support – usually polling at more than 60 percent.

Missouri: “Amendment 2” [Currently: decriminalized]

The mostly red state of Missouri will have three different ballot initiatives (yup, three) aimed at legalizing medical marijuana. All of the initiatives would legalize possessing, using, buying, and selling pot for medicinal purposes, with dispensaries licensed and regulated by the state. Taxes really make the difference: Amendment 2 would impose a 4 percent tax on marijuana sales, and the funds would be mainly used to pay for services for military veterans. Amendment 3 would impose a 15 percent tax on marijuana sales as well as additional taxes in other areas of production and sales, with the revenue primarily dedicated to a research institute that will try to find cures and treatments for cancers and other medical conditions. Proposition C would impose a 2 percent tax on marijuana sales, and the revenue would be set for public safety, veterans’ services, drug treatment, and early childhood education.

Other fundamental differences lie in qualifying. Under Amendment 3, patients must petition a board to become a medical patient, while Amendment 2 does not allow home grows. If all three pass, the constitutional amendment with the most votes will win out. According to the lone poll conducted, Missouri voters are in support of medical marijuana.

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