As the citizens of the United States cast their final ballots to elect the 45th President of the United States of America, nine states were making decisions of their own concerning the legalization of marijuana.
Five of the states—Arizona, Maine, California, Massachusetts and Nevada—would be voting on the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes while the other four will be allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
Marijuana Legalization Making Grand Progress
If the legalization pushes through, it would mark a milestone in the history of the Marijuana Majority, which is chaired by Tom Angell, as it would open up the marijuana market to close to 25% of the country’s total population.
Angell reckons that big wins could drastically shorten the projected time it would take to completely remove the federal prohibition of the substance with his hopes set for as early as 2017.
On the other hand, massive losses would mean the loss of the momentum the movement has garnered over the last several years.
As such, November 8th was a crucial day for America for more than the obvious reasons.
Marijuana is No Longer Considered Dangerous
A political scientist from the University of Southern California, John Matsusaka, pointed out the changing mentality that has led to so many people changing their perception of cannabis.
The substance, which was considered in the same vein as hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine, is now coming closer to sharing the same popularity as beer.
A Breakdown of the Polls
So far California’s ballot initiative has a 55 percent rating as it shows great potential to drastically boost the revenue of the state in addition to making legalized marijuana available to a population of 39 million people.
The popularity of their ballot initiative in California has seen the other states on the same quest emulating their possession laws with the only variant being the 10% – 15% sales taxes.
On the other end, Arizona looks to be the closest vote with the recent polls showing that the proposal has an approval rating of about 48 percent.
Nevada comes in with the second lowest approval rating as the vote is currently split roughly down the middle at 50 percent.
Florida has by far the highest approval rating with approximately 70 percent approval from the state.
Florida’s first attempt to legalize marijuana was in the 2014 election but despite the majority voting yes on the ballot, they did not accrue the 60 percent support state law required to make it the law.
The End of “Reefer Madness”
Support for the legalization of marijuana across the US stems from an increase acceptance of the substance as “Reefer Madness” slowly becomes a thing of the past.
The successes experienced by Colorado, which is a state that legalized the regulated use of cannabis and established various marketplaces to that effect, have also played a huge role, especially by putting to rest negative speculation by lawmakers that the policies would end disastrously.
Arizona was the only state where the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes, failed.
Nevertheless, the state legalized the use of medical marijuana back in 2010 and it is the push for further legalization that has proved a tough climb.
California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, Florida, Arkansas, Montana, and North Dakota, all passed the law.
Despite the massive national support behind marijuana legalization activists, the federal government retains its stand that cannabis is still worthy of being relegated to the likes of LSD and heroin and strongly maintain that the substance has no “current accepted medical use.”
If voted in, states that will have accepted its recreational use will avail the substance only to people that are 21 and over.
For medical measures, patients will have to be qualified to be in need of marijuana treatment by their respective physicians.
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