While most eyes have been set on the presidential race during the 2016 election, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada and California all held a vote to legalize recreational marijuana, a decision that could potentially shift the nation on a cultural and economic level.
Paving the road ahead of them, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington have all legalized, regulated and taxed marijuana for recreational use by adults, similar to laws that govern alcohol use. Additionally, Washington D.C. also legalized cannabis possession and cultivation for personal use. If all five states pass their ballots, cannabis will be legal for nearly one-fifth of the US population.
Here are the results as they come in:
Massachusetts votes for recreational marijuana
Question 4 passed in Massachusetts, which will allow people 21 and older to use, grow and possess marijuana. The ballot was extremely close leading up to the final results, which definitely kept plenty of cannabis enthusiasts in the state on the edge of their seats.
The measure specifies that people would be allowed to possess one ounce of cannabis in public and a whopping 10 ounces of pot at home, which is a sh*tload of weed. The measure will also create the Cannabis Control Commission that will oversee legalization and issue licenses for those who wish to sell marijuana products.
For reference, we got Tommy Chong to hold 10 ounces of pot at medical marijuana dispensary Shango.
Additionally, the initiative will impose a modest 3.75 percent tax on top of Massachusetts sales tax, and will allow cities and towns to impose an additional 2 percent tax. Funds will go towards helping the state establish the new law and commission.
Question 4 states that legalization will take place on December 15, 2016. It should be a great Christmas and New Year in Massachusetts this year.
California votes for Recreational Marijuana
Proposition 64 passed in California, which will allow people 21 and older to possess and consume marijuana for recreational purposes. Adults will be allowed to hold one ounce of marijuana, and grow up to six plants in a secure area out of public view.
The measure will create two new taxes, one for cultivation and another for retail. The taxes will pay for the cost of administering the new law in addition to raising funds for youth substance abuse education, law enforcement training with a focus on DUI enforcement and environmental cleanup and restoration of public land damaged by illegal marijuana cultivation.
Proposition 64 passing in California isn’t too surprising considering the state was the first to deregulate marijuana for medical use in 1996. The state also has some of the most relaxed qualifying symptoms, making it relatively easy for patients to receive treatment.
In addition to the recreational vote, Florida, Montana, North Dakota and Arkansas also voted to legalize medical marijuana. This would allow qualifying residents, with their doctor’s recommendation, to access medical marijuana treatment, joining 25 states that have already developed medical marijuana laws.
Florida votes in favor of medical marijuana
North Dakota votes in favor of medical marijuana
Arkansas votes in favor of medical marijuana
So what’s next?
While Massachusetts has a clear date when the laws will go into effect, it’s going to take some time before you’ll be purchasing legal weed from any of these states. Regulations need to be set, agencies need to be formed and most importantly, the public as well as law enforcement need to be educated. Thankfully, the four states that have already regulated recreational marijuana have set standards, acting as an experiment for the states that follow.
Results for Maine, Nevada and Arizona are not yet in
This story is currently developing …
from Mashable! http://mashable.com/2016/11/09/marijuana-election-results/?utm_campaign=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial&utm_cid=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial