Three States Legalized Marijuana in Midterm Elections

By Kaitlyn M.
Three states in the U.S. legalized marijuana in the midterm elections. Who are they, what happened, and when will they get weed?

Yesterday was a major day for the United States. Most people went out and voted on the things that mattered most to them. Whether it was placing the right people in office or changing the state they lived in for the better, it all happened last night.

A lot also happened for the marijuana industry yesterday. Last night, the votes came back and made history. Three states in the U.S. legalized marijuana for recreational or medical use last night.

In a whirlwind of the midterm elections, three states caused legalization of marijuana to happen. The people have spoken and now it is time to put it all into action. So, what passed, how will it happen, and what didn’t pass?

Michigan Legalized Recreational Marijuana

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Not many people thought that recreational use wouldn’t pass. Michigan has been well funded and most of its voters were in favor of this change. According to the New York Times, Proposal 1 in Michigan passed with over 2 million votes, 55.8 percent, to legalize recreational use for anyone 21 years or older as well as allowing a tax on marijuana sales.

Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project spoke on the victory in Michigan which he helped lead to victory.

Hawkins said This is yet another historic election for the movement to end marijuana prohibition. Voters have once again sent a message loud and clear that it is time to legalize and regulate marijuana. The victory in Michigan highlights just how widespread support is for marijuana policy reform. This issue does not only enjoy strong support on the coasts but also in the Midwest and all throughout the country.”

The marijuana winners in Michigan are on an all-time high right now, but when will we see sales and when will this new law go into effect? Allowing sales will be within a year of this vote so it is up to the state to determine exactly when that will happen. Ballotpedia states that it should not take long before you can roll up a joint in Michigan.

It says, “Proposal 1 did not provide a specific effective date for the possession and use of marijuana. According to state law, ballot initiatives go into effect 10 days after results are certified. Michigan results are certified about three weeks after Election Date. Therefore, legalization of marijuana would likely occur in December 2018.”

That seems like a pretty good Christmas gift to me. 4

Missouri Legalizes Medical Marijuana

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Missouri had three different measures to vote on for marijuana legalization, but only one passed. Amendment 2, which will allow for medical marijuana to be legalized and will impose a 4 percent tax that will provide health care to veterans passed last night. It was passed with over 1 million votes and a whopping 65.5 percent.

Amendment 2 passing is a major win for the citizens of Missouri so they can get the help they need. Matthew Schweich, deputy director of the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project, was elated over the win and made a statement thanking all those who helped this to become a reality.

Schweich said, “Thanks to the unflagging efforts of patients and advocates, Missourians who could benefit from medical marijuana will soon be able to use it without fear of being treated like criminals. There is near-universal support in the U.S. for providing seriously ill patients with legal access to medical cannabis. Most voters, regardless of their age, geographic location, or political persuasion, recognize the medical benefits of marijuana and believe it should be available to those who can benefit from it. Now that more than 30 states have enacted comprehensive medical marijuana laws, it is time for Congress to step up and address the issue at the federal level."

When patients will be able to apply and receive their medical marijuana is a bit more complicated than Michigan according to Ballotpedia.

Amendment 2 requires the state to start accepting applications for medical marijuana no later than June 4th, 2019 and no later than August 3rd, 2019 for dispensaries. Even though patients will not receive their medication most likely until next year, this is still a great day for Missouri.

Utah Legalizes Restrictive Medical Marijuana Use

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Utah legalized medical marijuana for qualifying conditions last night. With over 400,000 votes and a 53.2 percent win, it will happen at some point.

Utah’s relationship with marijuana is an interesting one. Even though Proposition 2 was created to legalize medical marijuana for certain conditions, this did not sit well with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After many issues including a lawsuit, both parties came to an agreement that satisfied both the church and the state for marijuana laws.

Schweich spoke on this issue stating, “There's a lot of voters who support marijuana in principle but didn't want to go in opposition to the LDS church. The important thing about Utah is that we have made a compromise.” This agreement was downright confusing to voters and even legislatures.

Former Republican state senator, Stephen Urquhart, said this was an “electioneering ploy intended to suppress voter turnout. It was intended to confuse the voters." Even if that were true, Prop 2 still passed and will allow for patients to get their medical marijuana with many restrictions and only certain conditions will allow for it.

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We were hoping this victory would include North Dakota but sadly, that is not the case for the time being. But, let's focus on the positive. Utah is starting to change their views on marijuana and that is a huge deal. The big picture shows that not one, but three separate states made history for marijuana last night.

Congratulations Michigan, Missouri, and Utah! Get your joints or oils ready!

Citations

1. 2018 Midterm Election Results: Live. Retrieved November 07, 2018 from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/11/06/us/elections/results-dashboard-live.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

2. Michigan Election Results. Retrieved November 07, 2018 from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/11/06/us/elections/results-michigan-elections.html

3.Matt Ferner 3 States Legalize Marijuana For Recreational Or Medical Use. Retrieved November 07, 2018 from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/midterm-election-marijuana-legalization_us_5be26aa3e4b0dbe871a45fd7

4. Michigan Proposal 1, Marijuana Legalization Initiative (2018). Retrieved November 07, 2018 from https://ballotpedia.org/Michigan_Proposal_1,_Marijuana_Legalization_Initiative_(2018)

5. Missouri Election Results. Retrieved November 07, 2018 from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/11/06/us/elections/results-missouri-elections.html

6.Lindsay Schnell Florida votes to restore felon voting rights; Missouri, Michigan legalize marijuana. Retrieved November 07, 2018 from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2018/11/06/election-results-2018-florida-votes-restore-felons-voting-rights/1895272002/

7. Missouri Amendment 2, Medical Marijuana and Veteran Healthcare Services Initiative (2018). Retrieved November 07, 2018 from https://ballotpedia.org/Missouri_Amendment_2,_Medical_Marijuana_and_Veteran_Healthcare_Services_Initiative_(2018)

8. Utah Election Results. Retrieved November 07, 2018 from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/11/06/us/elections/results-utah-elections.html

9. Utah Proposition 2, Medical Marijuana Initiative (2018). Retrieved November 07, 2018 from https://ballotpedia.org/Utah_Proposition_2,_Medical_Marijuana_Initiative_(2018)

10. Game of the Year Sale!. Retrieved November 07, 2018 from https://store.steampowered.com/news/?appids=617700

About the author: Kaitlyn M.

Kaitlyn is one of our regular contributors to cover Products and Lifestyle. She's living in the palmy Florida.