Voters in several states approve marijuana ballot measures
Voters in several states approve marijuana ballot measures

Voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada approved proposals to legalize recreational marijuana on Tuesday, while several other states voted to permit the use of medical marijuana. California voters passed Proposal 64 [text], which immediately permits [LAT report] those over 21 years of age to use recreational marijuana. This creates the largest market for the legal use of marijuana products in the country. It imposes a 15 percent tax and allows individuals to posses and grow up to one ounce of marijuana. Massachusetts also approved a measure [text] to legalize [Boston Globe report] recreational marijuana, which will become effective December 15 with shops opening up in January 2018. Nevada voters approved a recreational marijuana law that would tax the substance and is expected [RGJ report] to have a $1.1 billion economic impact by 2024. On the other hand, Arizona rejected a similar proposal [text] on Tuesday.

Other states voted on initiatives concerning marijuana specifically for medical purposes. Voters in Florida approved [Miami Herald report] a medical marijuana ballot measure [text] with 71 percent voting in favor of the amendment. Two years ago the state had rejected a similar proposal. Montana voters approved Initiative 182 [text], which removes restrictions on their current medical marijuana laws. The new law would permit [Helena IR report] medical marijuana for patients suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and would remove limits on the number of patients to which medical marijuana could be prescribed by a single provider. Montana initially legalized medical marijuana in 2004. Medical marijuana proposals in Arkansas and North Dakota [texts] were also approved.

In recent years there has been a movement to decriminalize marijuana, which has resulted in many states allowing various forms of medical marijuana and several states decriminalizing marijuana all together. In April Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill [JURIST report] legalizing medical marijuana. In February the Utah Senate voted to advance a bill [JURIST report] that would legalize the use of medical marijuana in various forms such as vapor or edible form. Last November New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed two bills [JURIST report] in order to expedite the distribution of medical marijuana to citizens with critical health conditions. Earlier that month New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed [JURIST report] a bill into law that would allow for the administering of edible medical marijuana to sick and disabled children on school grounds without triggering the arrests of parents or educators.