This Week In Cannabis & Politics: November 2016 Ballots
Come November, us Americans will be voting on a new president, and yes, we are scared shitless. Let’s start looking at cannabis law reform.
This November is going to be, in Trump’s words a “huuuuge” month in the United States. Come November, us Americans will be voting on a new president, and yes, we are scared shitless. But in addition to that whole circus act, our local and state governments will be adding new measures to the ballots for us to vote upon and this is something we should all be paying attention to, cannabis law reform.
Hot topic: Cannabis law reform
So for now, let’s forget the whole Trump-Clinton mess and take a look at individual state initiatives that are all focusing on one thing- cannabis law reform.
This week, I’m going to tell you a little bit about the states that are ready to reveal new cannabis initiatives. Now, if your state isn’t listed here, don’t freak out! Just because you don’t see your state on this list doesn’t mean it’s the end of the line and that any chances at legalization are over.
Why? Because as more states start to come around, yours will too! I may not have an exact timeline but just trust me, okay? Okay, cool.
Let’s dig into cannabis law reform, starting with Arizona.
If you live in Arizona, you’ll definitely see The Arizona Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act on the ballot this November. This act will allow anyone 21-years-old and over to possess cannabis, consume it privately, and grow a limited amount for personal use. This act also means that licensed businesses (dispensaries) can grow cannabis and sell it. Pretty sweet, right?
If this act is to pass, Arizona will establish a Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control to regulate cultivation, testing, transportation, manufacturing, and the sale of cannabis. Not to mention, this bill will also give local governments all the power of regulating cannabis businesses themselves.
So, if you live in Arizona, get out there and vote this November. Do it. Do it. Do it.
Arkansas is a bit behind on the recreational side of initiatives, but you’ll be pleased to know that the state is getting ready to hop aboard the medicinal cannabis train.
The 2016 Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act will set to establish a statewide medical cannabis program. This means that the production, testing, and distribution of medical cannabis would be in full effect. If this law passes, patients will have to be diagnosed by a physician with one of over fifty qualifying conditions. Patients will be able to obtain their medicine from one of up to thirty-eight licensed non-profit care centers.
Patients will be able to obtain their medicine from one of up to thirty-eight licensed non-profit care centers.
What’s nice about this act is that qualified patients don’t have to worry if there isn’t a care center in their vicinity. Instead, they are allowed to get ahold of what is called a “hardship certificate” and grow their own medicine in the comfort of their own homes.
So for all you Arkansans, be on the lookout for this bill when you go out to vote this November.
Ah, California. We’ve been waiting for you, and it’s about time!
California’s Adult Use of Marijuana Act means big things for all you Californians out there. If passed, this new act will allow adults to legally grow up to six plants for personal use and allow residents to possess up to one ounce of flower and/or up to eight grams of concentrates. As if this wasn’t sweet enough, California would also get the go ahead to open up dispensaries throughout the state.
But wait, there’s more! This measure will also keep local authorities from banging down people’s doors and locking them up for growing cannabis for their own personal use.
Fun fact: About sixty percent of California voters say that they intend to vote on this initiative, so it’s pretty much in the bag. Nice work, California.
Do you live in California and plan on voting in the fall? Of course you do! Be sure to be on the lookout for ‘Proposition 64’.
Florida has been dragging a bit behind when it comes to legalizing cannabis, even for medicinal purposes. I mean, you’d think that with all the older people down there medical cannabis would be approved by now, right? Yeah, I don’t get it either. But once again, Florida is pushing for this measure to pass and if it does, qualified patients will be able to possess and obtain cannabis from state-run facilities.
In order for this bill to pass, according to Florida law, sixty percent of voters have to approve the bill first. You should know that cannabis activists in Florida tried to pass this measure in 2014 and things didn’t turn out so well, but you should also know that as of now, sixty-eight percent of Florida voters say that they support the bill. Sweet!
Needless to say, things are finally brightening up in the sunshine state, so make sure to check off that box for ‘Amendment 2’ this November. Come on, do it for my grandma!
People who live in Maine are so accustomed to cannabis that I bet you half of them don’t even realize it’s illegal. If passed, Maine’s Marijuana Legalization Act will be the last and final stop on the path toward legalization (in a good way, of course.) This measure will allow adults to legally possess up to two and a half ounces of cannabis and grow up to six mature plants for their own personal use.
In addition to this awesomeness, the state would also establish dispensaries for the retail sale of cannabis with a ten percent sales tax.
Live in Maine? Look for ‘Question 1’ when you hit up the polls this fall!
As one of the first states to decriminalize cannabis, we’ve all been sitting here scratching our heads as to why it’s taking Massachusetts to make bigger moves.
The state’s Marijuana Legalization Act will allow adults to possess up to one ounce of cannabis outside of their home and up to 10 ounces of cannabis in the privacy of their homes. This initiative is a lot like the current medical cannabis program in Massachusetts but unfortunately, if you live in Mass, you won’t be seeing dispensaries along the streets just yet. Sit tight, though!
Missouri’s act, New Approach Missouri, will set off to establish a medical cannabis program throughout the state allowing the sale of medical cannabis as well as medical cannabis products.
Now, I’ve got to say that, if this bill is to pass, Missouri will certainly be doing it right. While this initiative will place a four percent retail tax, this program plans to give any extra revenue it generates to help Missouri’s veterans. Now that is freaking awesome.
For public use of cannabis, the state will still maintain its stance on prohibition of personal use as well as driving under the influence of cannabis. Under this law, the state’s Department of Health and Senior Services will put a seed-to-sale tracking system into play (to keep the medical cannabis off the streets) and will be placed in charge of licensing throughout the state.
According to a recent survey, sixty-two percent of voters in Missouri are in favor of this measure, so the verdict is looking pretty good.
Montana is another state that will be introducing a medical cannabis program to the ballot this fall (yay!) The Montana Medical Marijuana Initiative will repeal the current law limiting three patients for each licensed provider and will allow these providers to hire more employees to help with the cultivation, dispensing, and transportation of medical cannabis.
The bill will also repeal the law that requires physicians, who have twenty-five or more medical cannabis patients, to be referred to the board of medical examiners. And finally, the bill will forbid law enforcement from showing up unannounced to inspect statewide medical cannabis facilities, but will require annual inspections by the state. Fair enough.
Are you a resident of Montana? Look out for ‘I-182’ on the ballot when you go to vote!
Wahoo! Nevada will soon be making its way into the legal states club. I bet you didn’t know that Nevada was actually one of the first states to legalize medical cannabis in 2000. It’s no wonder that it will be on the ballot this November.
Like many other states, the Nevada Marijuana Legalization Initiative will allow adults to possess and grow up to one ounce and/or six plants for their own personal use. This bill will also be used to regulate and tax the commercial sale and retail sale of cannabis. Nice.
When you’re reading the ballot this November, keep your eyes open for ‘Question 2’ and let’s make history.
There’s no doubt that the year 2016 is set to be a monumental year for cannabis law reform. If these measures pass, the country could potentially double the amount of legal medical states as well as recreational states. And again, if you don’t see your state on the ballot this November, just remember that the legalization of cannabis is most certainly in your near future.
Just don’t forget to vote, okay?
Do you live in any of these states and plan on voting in the fall? What are your thoughts on cannabis law reform? Let us know on social media or in the comments below.