The presumably more “conservative” candidate may have pulled off a surprise victory in the presidential race last night, but when it comes to Americans’ opinions on marijuana, they have become anything but conservative in much of the country. Nine different states had marijuana-related ballot initiatives yesterday, and it appears that all but one of them passed. Of the remaining eight, four were in favor of medical marijuana and four were in favor of straight up recreational marijuana – meaning the number of states where you can puff-puff-pass without any major ramifications is now set to potentially double.
California, Massachusetts, Nevada and, apparently by a very slim margin, Maine are looking to join Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska in making recreational marijuana use legal. As the most populous state, as well as a state with a flourishing medical marijuana industry, California would certainly seem to have the biggest impact of the bunch. California’s Proposition 64, which passed by a margin of 56 percent to 44 percent, will be a marijuana boon when it goes into effect starting on January 1, 2018. However, Massachusetts will be especially interesting to watch as the state now appears poised to bring legal pot to the East Coast – the highly populated Northeast, no less – with legalization taking effect as soon as December 15th of this year. If anything, it could certainly save marijuana tourists a lot of long travel headaches.
Meanwhile, Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota all passed medical marijuana measures. Going into this election, 25 states allowed for prescription pot, so it appears that soon, more than half the country will have jumped on the (I assume flower power-painted) medical marijuana bandwagon.
Only Arizona decided to stay out of the fun. AZ already allows for medical use. Had Proposition 205 passed, the state would have legalized recreational pot as well. Sadly for pot advocates, the “no’s” won by a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent. For now, Arizonans will just have to get high the old fashioned way: peyote.