Marijuana is legal for more Americans than ever now that eight states passed legalization initiatives on their ballots on Election Day. Nine states voted on issues linked to marijuana, including whether to legalize recreational use for adults or medical use for patients, and now people will have increased access to marijuana in Arkansas, California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada and North Dakota.
Read on to find out how states voted on weed on Tuesday:
Under Arizona’s Proposition 205, residents 21 and up would be allowed to possess and use up to one ounce of marijuana recreationally (the state already permits medical marijuana for people struggling with a variety of ailments). But the ballot measure appeared to have failed Tuesday with 53 percent "no" votes, the Arizona Republic reported. Not all votes were in yet, though.
Initially, Arkansas was supposed to vote on two marijuana measures. However, Issue 7, an amendment that would have allowed patients to grow their own cannabis if they lived too far from a dispensary, was removed from the ballot in late October after Supreme Court judges discovered supporters failed to comply with registration and reporting laws. Issue 6, a similar amendment that would have legalized medical marijuana with far more restrictions than Issue 7, passed, KATV reported, with about 52 percent of the vote.
Of all the marijuana measures, California’s Proposition 64 was expected to pass into legislation early on. Polls conducted before Election Day showed that majority of the state’s voters were in favor of legalizing recreational use of weed and hemp for adults 21 and older, paying cultivation taxes for farming and production of flowers and leaves as well as a new 15 percent retail tax on all marijuana. On Tuesday, the recreational measure was legalized, thanks to an estimated 55 percent of votes, according to the Desert Sun.
In Florida, patients suffering from debilitating diseases like epilepsy, glaucoma, cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s, HIV/AIDs and multiple sclerosis would have had access to medical marijuana under the proposed Amendment 2. Now they will be able to use medical marijuana as a form of treatment after about 71 percent of residents voted yes on legalizing the plant, according to Associated Press data.
Adults in Maine will likely be able to use marijuana recreationally after the state’s Question 1 ballot measure — an amendment that aimed to legalize all forms of marijuana for adults over 21 — saw impressive early returns Tuesday, with 51 percent of votes, the Portland Press Herald reported. However, not all ballots had been counted yet.
In Massachusetts, adults will now be able to use marijuana recreationally under guidelines similar to those on alcohol after roughly 53 percent of residents voted in favor of Question 4, according to MassLive.com.
Medical marijuana was already approved in Montana back in 2013, but residents still had to vote on Initiative I-182, a measure that would have adjusted the current laws to approve more patients for medical marijuana and permitted providers to hire more workers to cultivate, dispense and transport marijuana to those in need. The updated law was on track to be approved by 57 percent of voters, according to AP data, but only a tenth of the votes had been counted as of midnight.
Patrons on the Las Vegas strip were already able to drink alcohol in public, but now they could be able to light up outside too after early returns indicated 53 percent of voters said "yes" to Nevada’s Question 2, a recreational measure that allows people 21 and older to possess and use up to 1 ounce of weed. Only a fifth of votes had been counted as of press time.
North Dakota’s Initiated Statutory Measure 5 passed with about 64 percent of votes, the New York Times reported. Now, patients suffering from AIDS, ALS, Hepatitis C, epilepsy and glaucoma will be able to use or have access to medical marijuana.