This is one of the most interesting election years in memory and all candidates aside, the propositions that people have to yea or nay on are equally just as thrilling. As you know, there are 25 states plus the District of Columbia that have legalized marijuana in some way, either for medicinal purposes or recreational use. That is exactly half the states in the Union that have turned their noses up to the Federal government’s listing of Marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug on their dangerous drug list. Apparently, the people have spoken and they are about to speak again on November 8th.
There are nine states that have propositions on their ballots for the legalization of marijuana. Some of these already have medical marijuana laws and the propositions would either expand those guidelines or approve the legitimization of recreational use of weed. Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana and Nevada fall in that category. The elections in three other states where marijuana is currently not legal would establish medical marijuana laws. Those three states are, Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota.
There is no sure winner predicted in any of the nine states, but people have been keeping their eye on the California measure because of all the money being thrown at it from both sides. The pro-marijuana camp, however, is spending the most and it has some high rollers with big names like Sean Parker, former Facebook president and Napster founder, backing it all the way. The opposition includes the California Police Chiefs Association and the Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana.
Florida also has a contentious fight between the pro-marijuana and the anti-marijuana factions, especially because of all the conservative money being tossed into the ring. Amendment 2, if it wins, will allow the issuance of patient and caregiver ID cards if the patient has certain medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, MS, PTSD or Crohn’s disease. They would have to be approved by a licensed Florida physician to gain legal access to medical marijuana.
As we said earlier, there are no clear-cut winners yet and no one knows if any or all the states that have marijuana propositions on their ballots will pass. We do know, however, that if the measures pass in Arkansas, Florida or North Dakota, that will bring the number of states to either 26 or more, which will add up to more than half of the states having some form of medical marijuana laws. That would send another very clear message to the federal government to open their eyes and ears to what the people of this great country want: legalized marijuana.
*photo credit The Daily Chronic