This election day could be known as the marijuana elections day. Marijuana legalization could continue to spread throughout the United States. Many citizens will cast their votes and the U.S could see another two states removing marijuana prohibition while two more introduce medical marijuana.
North Dakota Marijuana Elections
One of these states is North Dakota. If voters cast their ballot of approval, this could be the state that has some of North America’s most tolerant laws for Adult use of marijuana. If approved, adults would be set to not only consume marijuana recreationally but also grow and possess marijuana without a government-imposed limit.
Measure 3 is proving to be highly popular amongst residents of North Dakota. The measure is set to allow the recreational use of marijuana and expunge the records for some of those prosecuted for cannabis crimes.
However, Measure 3 does not have a plan for marijuana sales taxation or regulation. The measure will allow residents to grow marijuana and to sell it without any taxes.
Utah Medicinal Marijuana Legalization
In Utah, a state renowned for being conservative, proposed medicinal marijuana is a strong reality because of an agreement between legal advocates and the state’s predominant religious leaders (known to be strong contenders against the use of caffeine).
The debate between the pro-legalization (Utah Patients Coalition) and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints drew attention from across the country. However, thanks to the legal brokering, the medicinal marijuana program is set to be established.
Michigan Marijuana Elections
Medicinal marijuana has been legal in the state of Michigan since 2008 and residents are expecting to see legalized marijuana as well. An organized recreational marijuana program has been proposed which most are expecting to become approved by voters. The legalization of marijuana will include the taxation and regulation of the newly legal plant.
According to a poll by the Detroit Free Press, Proposal 1 has the approximately 57% of the state’s support. Proposal 1 has a system that will oversee the regulation, taxation, and sales of marijuana.
Missouri Medicinal Marijuana Legalization
And finally, Missouri is expecting to see medicinal marijuana being introduced as well. Voters in the state of Missouri will select one of three different plans:
– Prop. C
– Amendment 2
– Amendment 3
All of these plans involve the legalization of cultivating, manufacturing, selling and the consumption of both recreational marijuana and medicinal marijuana.
The state law allows that the measure with the majority of the votes will be implemented.
Prop C. will implement a 2% tax on marijuana sales. This generated tax income will be distributed amongst four different avenues; developmental programs for early childhood development, healthcare funding for veterans, programs for drug treatment, and public safety.
Amendment 2 will place a 4% tax on marijuana sales. The generated tax income will be directed into health care programs for veterans. Amendment 2 is also the only measure that allows marijuana plants to be grown at a private residence.
Amendment 3 will place a tax on sales from growers to dispensaries. This tax will be as follows; $9.25/ounce of marijuana flower. $2.75/ounce of leaves.
The measure will also place a 15% tax on sales from dispensaries to medicinal patients. While this measure has the highest tax proposal, the generated tax income will be directed towards the creation of a research institute for incurable diseases. The institute will research currently incurable diseases and the income will be used to secure land for the physical institute, transportation, medical care, public pensions as well as income tax refunds.
Meanwhile, in Chicago, mayor candidate Gery Chico has made a new proposal for recreational marijuana profits. In order to address a recent $1 billion increase in pension payouts, Chico has proposed using profit generated from the recreational marijuana market as well as a local casino.
Chico has been quoted as saying that full legalization of marijuana is imminent and inevitable.
“An overwhelming number of Chicagoans support the legalization of marijuana — and I do, too,” Chico said at the City Club of Chicago, according to the Sun-Times.
According to Chico, the annual revenue that marijuana can bring into the state can be as much as $700 million. Chico has also said that Chicago needs to be ready for the legal marijuana industry in order to reap the benefits. He went on to say that Chicago will be the city where the majority of dispensaries are bound to be located and that the next mayor needs to be aware of this and work to make the industry a success one and profitable for the city of Chicago.
Chico went on to say that, “We’re going to be the place where the largest number of dispensaries are located, and the stores that will sell this merchandise — not only to people in Chicago but to people in the Midwest,”
Chico is also ready to address the clemency and expungement issue of those cannabis offenders that have already been imprisoned and sentenced. He reasoned by saying that you cannot sensibly have people imprisoned for something that is now legal.
While the majority of the nation has moved towards dismantling prohibition against marijuana, these ballots could not have been more aptly timed. A total of nine states have already moved to legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana. So far, a total of 30 states have moved to introduce the legal use of medicinal marijuana as well. While Mississippi and Alabama have also allowed medical marijuana, the state laws only allow a few individuals who are severely ill to use marijuana medicinally.
A recent poll by Gallup has placed the amount of Americans in support of legal recreational marijuana at 66%.
However, despite this nationwide shift in the legal stance against marijuana, the plant is still fully illegal.
According to Matthew Schweich, the deputy/director for the Marijuana Policy Project, the nation’s support of legal marijuana may be increasing but there is still a long way to go, saying, “Clearly the national momentum is on our side and we see that in national polls, but national polls don’t dictate state-level results. We still have a fight on our hands in every single state where we’re trying to legalize.”