Cannabis on the Ballot
Everybody is talking about blue waves and red waves this midterm cycle, but what we’re more interested in is the forthcoming green wave, and no, I’m not talking about Jill Stein.
We’re non-partisan here at Growers Network, unless we’re talking Cannabis. And we are! So, today we’re going to give you the the 411 on the four states that have 420 and 710 measures on the ballot this year: Michigan, North Dakota, Missouri, and Utah.
Michigan (Proposal 1)
Michigan legalized medical Cannabis in 2008. Ten years later they’re going for recreational legalization with Proposal 1. Both Democrat and Republican gubernatorial candidates have shown varying degrees of support; Democrat Gretchen Whitmer supports recreational legalization, and Republican candidate Bill Schuette says if he wins, he’ll respect the will of the voters. If the measure passes, Michiganders will be able to possess up to 2 and a half ounces of Cannabis and home growers will be allowed up to twelve plants for personal use (about double the amount in the other legal states). Recent polls show the measure passing easily in Michigan, but we all know it ain’t over ‘til the green lady sings.
North Dakota (Measure 3)
North Dakota is another state looking at legalizing recreational Cannabis in 2018. Polling on the measure has been disparate with some polls showing it passing by a wide margin and others suggesting it’s doomed to fail. If Measure 3 does indeed pass, it will be up to the state legislators to hammer out the details as the current bill contains no stipulations for amount of product or number of plants an individual can possess. Despite these legislative hoops, there’s an extra bright spot if it passes, as North Dakota will expunge the records of marijuana offenders.
Missouri (Amendment 2, Amendment 3, and Proposition C)
This year Missouri voters will decide whether or not to legalize medical marijuana. There have been reports of confusion as the residents of the Show Me State will be voting on three separate initiatives, all for medical legalization, the difference among the initiatives being the the tax rate for medical Cannabis and how that revenue will be distributed (Missouri will avoid redundancy by implementing whichever single initiative receives the most votes). Polls have shown that Missourians favor medical legalization generally, and the measure favored to win (if one indeed does) is state constitutional Amendment 2, which will allow doctors to recommend Cannabis for a list of specified conditions, much like the laws in other medical marijuana states.
Utah (Proposition 2)
Utah’s ballot measure on medical Cannabis is pretty
messed up interesting. Advocates and opponents have already struck a compromise, agreeing to a special legislative session in which lawmakers will, upon passage, convene to rework the law before it goes into effect. Why would proponents agree to this before the vote? Well, in Utah legislators have the ability to overturn ballot measures with a simple majority vote, something proponents of Proposition 2 want to avoid. What does that mean? Upon passage of the medical initiative, lawmakers will work to amend the law rather than overturn it, and Utah residents will eventually get a watered down version of an already watered down proposal. As currently written, the measure does not allow patients to grow their own Cannabis and prohibits smokeable medicine in all but the most extreme cases.
So, what do you think? Will these new Cannabis laws pass or will they go up in smoke? Be sure to check back tomorrow for a short follow-up with all the results, including a few lesser measures going to vote in Ohio and Wisconsin. What should you do until then? How about joining our forum and discussing Cannabis law or any other Cannabis related topic you can think of. See you there!
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About the Author
Chris DeWildt is a graduate of Grand Valley State University and Western Kentucky University. He worked in education and publishing for ten years before joining the team at Growers Network.