It was in 2014 that Colorado became the first state in the history of the United States to fully legalize the use of both medical and recreational marijuana. Nearly three years later, five states are looking to follow suit, as they prepare to put the legalization of recreational marijuana on the November 2016 ballot. Those states are: Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada.
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, otherwise known as the Marijuana Policy Project, is currently awaiting verification on petition signatures from the Secretary of State’s office to regulate marijuana like alcohol. This proposal, called The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act allows adults over the age of 21 to possess, grow, and privately use limited amounts of marijuana. The Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control would be responsible for the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, transportation, and sale of marijuana while local legislative offices would be responsible for regulating and limiting marijuana businesses.
California might see the legalization of recreational marijuana thanks to Proposition 64, otherwise known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) which will appear on the November ballot. This proposition would allow adults to grow up to six plants and carry as much as an ounce of flour and/or up to eight grams of cannabis concentrate, such as oils or waxes. The chances of this proposition passing are high, as 60 percent of voters within the state approved of the proposition back in February 2016. A number of organizations have endorsed this proposition including: the ACLU of California, the California Democratic Party, the California Medical Association, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newson, the California NAACP, the Drug Policy Alliance, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and NORML.
The Marijuana Legalization Act will appear on Maine’s November ballot, asking voters if they approve of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. This proposal would allow adults to carry two and a half ounces of marijuana, as well as grow up to six plants for personal use. Licensing for commercial production, as well as retail sales of marijuana would also be included in the proposal.
Massachusetts will have the Marijuana Legalization Initiative on their ballot, backed by the group Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Massachusetts. This proposal would allow those over the age of 21 to carry an ounce of marijuana outside of their residences, andup to ten ounces in an enclosed locked location within their home. Those over the age of 21 would also be allowed to grow up to six plants in an enclosed, locked space in their home.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Nevada is proposing the Nevada Marijuana Legalization Initiative in November. This proposal would allow those 21 and over to carry up to an ounce of marijuana, and grow up to six plants, for personal use. The legislation would also regulate and tax the commercial production and retail sales of marijuana.
In addition to the recreational use of marijuana, some states also have medical marijuana on their ballots in November. Those states are:
- North Dakota