Thursday, April 18, 2024

Marijuana Legalization: 4 States To Watch In November

The marijuana movement is expected to advance even further following the November election. Voters in a handful of states will decide on initiatives aimed at legalizing both medical and recreational marijuana. The outcome could have some interesting implications, as there is potential for legal weed to infiltrate more of the Midwestern states. Here are the four that will be determined in the midterm election next month.


If this initiative is pushed through, which is expected, Michigan will become the first state in the Midwest to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The proposal would allow people 21 and older to purchase cannabis products from dispensaries in a manner similar to beer. Possession limits would be some of the highest in the country. Cannabis users would have the freedom to walk the streets with 2.5 ounces while keeping as much as 10 ounces at home. And when it comes to home cultivation, the offer is not too shabby – 12 plants for personal use. That’s a lot of weed!

Anyone under the age of 21 caught in possession of marijuana would be forced to pay a ticket. The only jail time possible in this situation is for those who continue to sell on the black market. But what about how pot will be taxed? All cannabis products will be subject to the state’s 6 percent sales tax. Another 10 percent would be imposed by retailers. This money will go to fund school and road projects.


The Show-Me state has been working toward medical marijuana for some time. And when the voters finally get a chance to answer that question, three ballot measures make it to the final stretch, which could get confusing. Nevertheless, two of the medical marijuana proposals are designed to amend the state constitution. The third, also a medical marijuana offering, would provide a change to state law. Basically, the winning amendment will knock out all of the others – becoming the chosen medical marijuana law. What’s the difference in the proposals? It’s mostly an issue of taxes. One would apply a 4 percent tax to retail sales and distribute that money to military veterans. Another calls for a 15 percent tax, with funds being used for cancer research. The third indicates a 2 percent tax for veterans, addiction centers, and early childhood education.

North Dakota

The 701 is not messing around when it comes to marijuana reform. It was just two years ago that voters decided favorably on medical marijuana. Now, they are headed back to the polls next month to determine whether the state should end pot prohibition for adult use. It’s a fairly standard deal: The proposal would give people 21 and older the ability to possess, use and grow marijuana. There is also a provision calling for the immediate expungement of criminal records related to past marijuana crimes. Some 180,000 people stand to benefit from this inclusion. As far as taxes are concerned, cannabis products would be held to the state sales tax. No additional charges would be levied.


Voters will head to the polls in a matter of weeks to decide on medical marijuana. However, the outcome of the election may have little bearing. Last week, a “compromise” deal was hashed out between the Mormon church, lawmakers and cannabis advocates that is said to “guarantee” a medical marijuana program no matter how the election turns out. Some reports indicate the compromise was done to confuse the voting public and ultimately sabotage Proposition 2. If voters approved the language of the ballot measure, Governor Herbert would call a special session so the State Legislature can adopt the negotiated deal. If the voters reject it, legislative forces will start building a therapeutic cannabis program from scratch. But they are not legally bound to pass anything. If the compromise is put into place, it will create a completely state-run system.

Medical marijuana would be distributed by a handful of private companies and the health department. There would be bans on certain edible pot products, home cultivation, and smoking. The word on the street is that anyone in Utah who wants medical marijuana needs to vote in favor of Proposition 2. Otherwise, it all falls in the hands of lawmakers.


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