Connect with us

Politics

Voters In Seven States Will See These Marijuana Questions On Election Day

Published

on

When voters head to the polls in November, they won’t just be deciding on U.S. senators, members of Congress, governors and other elected officials. They’ll also be voting on a number of far-reaching marijuana ballot initiatives.

Some concern full marijuana legalization and others would allow medical cannabis, while one is about the definition of hemp. Some are statewide measures and others are local in nature. Some are constitutional amendments, while others are statutory changes. And some are binding as compared to others that are advisory measures which simple give voters a chance to express their opinions to elected officials.

All told, there are 36 separate major cannabis reform measures on the ballot next month, across seven states (in addition to a larger number of local marijuana tax and licensing proposals).

While the campaigns for and against each measure will work to distribute variety of messages in advance of Election Day through mediums like TV ads, robocalls, email blasts and social media, a significant number of voters won’t make up their minds until they have their ballots in hand.

With that in mind, here’s a list of the actual cannabis questions that voters will see when they have a chance to make up their minds on November 6.

STATEWIDE MEASURES

COLORADO

Amendment X – Hemp Definition

Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning changing the industrial hemp definition from a constitutional definition to a statutory definition?

○ YES/FOR

○ NO/AGAINST

MICHIGAN

Proposal 1 – Marijuana Legalization

A proposed initiated law to authorize and legalize possession, use and cultivation of marijuana products by individuals who are at least 21 years of age and older, and commercial sales of marijuana through state-licensed retailers

This proposal would:

· Allow individuals 21 and older to purchase, possess and use marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles, and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal consumption.

· Impose a 10-ounce limit for marijuana kept at residences and require amounts over 2.5 ounces be secured in locked containers.

· Create a state licensing system for marijuana businesses and allow municipalities to ban or restrict them.

· Permit retail sales of marijuana and edibles subject to a 10% tax, dedicated to implementation costs, clinical trials, schools, roads, and municipalities where marijuana businesses are located.

· Change several current violations from crimes to civil infractions.

Should this proposal be adopted?

[ ] YES

[ ] NO

NORTH DAKOTA

Measure 3 – Marijuana Legalization

This initiated measure would amend the North Dakota Century Code by removing hashish, marijuana, and tetrahydrocannabinols from the list of schedule I controlled substances in section 19-03.1-05. It would create chapter 66-01, which would define the terms marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia and prohibit prosecution of any person over the age of 21 for any non-violent marijuana related activity (including growing, manufacturing, distributing, selling, or testing marijuana) or drug paraphernalia relating to any nonviolent marijuana activity, except for the sale of marijuana to a person under the age of 21. Any language in the North Dakota Century Code that conflicts with chapter 66-01, including the prohibitions on prosecution, is nullified and repealed. The measure also would add penalties for individuals under the age of twenty-one in possession of, or attempting to distribute, marijuana; and provide penalties for individuals who distribute marijuana to anyone under the age of twenty-one. It would amend the definition of drug paraphernalia in section 19-03.4-01 to apply only to non-marijuana controlled substances. It would amend section 25-03.1-45 to require the automatic expungement of the record of an individual who has a drug conviction for a controlled substance that has been legalized; create an appeals process for an individual who believes the state did not expunge a record properly; and eliminate the state’s sovereign immunity for damages resulting from expungement lawsuits.

○ YES – means you approve the measure summarized above.

○ NO – means you reject the measure summarized above.

MISSOURI

Amendment 2 – Medical Cannabis

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

  • allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and create regulations and licensing/certification procedures for marijuana and marijuana facilities;
  • impose a 4 percent tax on the retail sale of marijuana; and
  • use funds from these taxes for health and care services for military veterans by the Missouri Veterans Commission and to administer the program to license/certify and regulate marijuana and marijuana facilities?

This proposal is estimated to generate annual taxes and fees of $18 million for state operating costs and veterans programs, and $6 million for local governments. Annual state operating costs are estimated to be $7 million.

○ YES

○ NO

Amendment 3 – Medical Cannabis

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

  • allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and create regulations and licensing procedures for marijuana and marijuana facilities;
  • impose a 15 percent tax on the retail sale of marijuana, and a tax on the wholesale sale of marijuana flowers and leaves per dry-weight ounce to licensed facilities; and
  • use funds from these taxes to establish and fund a state research institute to conduct research with the purpose of developing cures and treatments for cancer and other incurable diseases or medical conditions?

This proposal is estimated to generate annual taxes and fees of $66 million. State governmental entities estimate initial implementation costs of $186,000 and increased annual operating costs of $500,000.

○ YES

○ NO

Proposition C – Medical Cannabis

Do you want to amend Missouri law to:

  • remove state prohibitions on personal use and possession of medical cannabis (marijuana) with a written certification by a physician who treats a patient diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition;
  • remove state prohibitions on growth, possession, production, and sale of medical marijuana by licensed and regulated facilities, and a facility’s licensed owners and employees;
  • impose a 2% tax on the retail sale of medical marijuana; and
  • use funds from this tax for veterans’ services, drug treatment, early childhood education, and for public safety in cities with a medical marijuana facility?

State government entities estimate initial and one-time costs of $2.6 million, annual costs of $10 million, and annual revenues of at least $10 million. Local government entities estimate no annual costs and are expected to have at least $152,000 in annual revenues.

○ YES

○ NO

UTAH

Proposition 2 – Medical Cannabis

Shall a law be enacted to:

• establish a state-controlled process that allows persons with certain illnesses to acquire and use medical cannabis and, in certain limited circumstances, to grow up to six cannabis plants for personal medical use;

• authorize the establishment of facilities that grow, process, test, or sell medical cannabis and require those facilities to be licensed by the state; and

• establish state controls on those licensed facilities, including:

o electronic systems that track cannabis inventory and purchases; and

o requirements and limitations on the packaging and advertising of cannabis and on the types of products allowed?

☐ FOR

☐ AGAINST

LOCAL MEASURES

OHIO – Marijuana Decriminalization

Dayton:

Shall the Dayton Revised Code of General Ordinances be amended to decriminalize specific misdemeanor marijuana and hashish offenses?

○ YES

○ NO

Fremont:

Shall the proposed Sensible Marihuana Ordinance which lowers the penalty for misdemeanor marijuana offenses to the lowest penalty allowed by state law be adopted?

○ YES

○ NO

Garrettsville:

Shall the proposed ordinance to lower the penalties for misdemeanor marihuana offenses to the lowest penalties allowed by state law be adopted?

○ YES

○ NO

Norwood:

Shall the proposed ordinance adding Section 513.15 Marijuana Laws and Penalties to the City of Norwood Municipal Code, which would lower the penalty for misdemeanor marijuana offenses to the lowest penalty allowed by state law, be adopted?

○ YES

○ NO

Oregon:

Shall the proposed Sensible Marihuana Ordinance which lowers the penalty for misdemeanor marijuana offenses to the lowest penalty allowed by state law be adopted?

○ YES

○ NO

Windham:

Shall the proposed ordinance to lower the penalties for misdemeanor marihuana offenses to the lowest penalties allowed by state law be adopted?

○ YES

○ NO

WISCONSIN – Marijuana Advisory Questions

Brown County:

Should cannabis be legalized in Wisconsin for medicinal purposes, and regulated in the same manner as other prescription drugs?

○ YES

○ NO

Clark County:

Should the State of Wisconsin legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes and regulate its use in the same manner as other prescription drugs?

○ YES

○ NO

Dane County:

Should marijuana be legalized, taxed and regulated in the same manner as alcohol for adults 21 years of age or older?

○ YES

○ NO

Eau Claire County:

Should cannabis:

__ (a) Be legal for adult, 21years of age and older, recreational or medical use, taxed and regulated like alcohol, with the proceeds from the taxes used for education, healthcare, and infrastructure in Wisconsin?

__ (b) Be legal for medical purposes only and available only by prescription through a medical dispensary?

__ (c) Remain a criminally illegal drug as provided under current law?

Forest County:

Should the State of Wisconsin allow individuals with debilitating medical conditions to use and safely access marijuana for medical purposes, if those individuals have a written recommendation from a licensed Wisconsin physician?

○ YES

○ NO

Kenosha County:

Should the State of Wisconsin allow individuals with debilitating medical conditions to use and safely access marijuana for medical purposes, if those individuals have a written recommendation from a licensed Wisconsin physician?

○ YES

○ NO

La Crosse County:

Should the State of Wisconsin legalize the use of marijuana by adults 21 years or older, to be taxed and regulated in the same manner that alcohol is regulated in the State of Wisconsin, with proceeds from taxes used for education, healthcare, and infrastructure?

○ YES

○ NO

Langlade County:

Should the State of Wisconsin allow individuals with debilitating medical conditions to use and safely access marijuana for medical purposes, if those individuals have a written recommendation from a licensed Wisconsin physician?

○ YES

○ NO

Lincoln County:

Should the State of Wisconsin allow individuals with debilitating medical conditions to use and safely access marijuana for medical purposes, if those individuals have a written recommendation from a licensed Wisconsin physician?

○ YES

○ NO

Marathon County:

Should the State of Wisconsin allow individuals with debilitating medical conditions to use and safely access marijuana for medical purposes, if those individuals have a written recommendation from a licensed Wisconsin physician?

○ YES

○ NO

Marquette County:

Shall the County of Marquette, Wisconsin, adopt the following resolution? Resolved, that “We the People” of Marquette County, Wisconsin, support the right of its citizens to acquire, possess and use medical cannabis upon the recommendation of a licensed physician, and; Be It Further Resolved, that we strongly support a statewide referendum requesting Wisconsin to join with thirty-two (32) other states that have already approved the use of medical cannabis for the treatment of chronic pain, several debilitating diseases and disabling symptoms.

○ YES

○ NO

Milwaukee County:

Do you favor allowing adults 21 years of age and older to engage in the personal use of marijuana, while also regulating commercial marijuana-related activities, and imposing a tax on the sale of marijuana?

○ YES

○ NO

Portage County:

Should the State of Wisconsin allow individuals with debilitating medical conditions to use and safely access marijuana for medical [treatment] purposes, if those individuals have a written [treatment] recommendation from a licensed Wisconsin physician?

○ YES

○ NO

Racine County:

Should marijuana be legalized for medicinal use?

○ YES

○ NO

Should marijuana be legalized, taxed, and regulated in the same manner as alcohol for adults 21 years of age or older?

○ YES

○ NO

Should proceeds from marijuana taxes be used to fund education, health care, and infrastructure?

○ YES

○ NO

Rock County

Should cannabis be legalized for adult use, taxed and regulated like alcohol, with the proceeds from the Taxes used for education, healthcare, and infrastructure?

○ YES

○ NO

Sauk County:

Should the state of Wisconsin legalize medical marijuana so that people with debilitating medical conditions may access medical marijuana if they have a prescription from a licenses Wisconsin physician?

○ YES

○ NO

City of Racine:

Should cannabis be legalized for adult recreational use in Wisconsin?

○ YES

○ NO

Should cannabis be legalized for medical use in Wisconsin?

○ YES

○ NO

Should cannabis sales be taxed and the revenue from such taxes be used for public education, health care, and infrastructure in Wisconsin?

○ YES

○ NO

Should cannabis be decriminalized in the State of Wisconsin?

○ YES

○ NO

City of Waukesha: Should cannabis be legalized in Wisconsin for medicinal purposes, and regulated in the same manner as other prescription drugs?

○ YES

○ NO

OTHER MEASURES

Voters in a number of counties and municipalities in states with some form of legalization will have a chance to decide on local measures setting marijuana tax rates or to allow or ban commercial cannabis activity. There are far too many of these measures to compile here, so you should use your state or county elections website to take a look at your sample ballot before you head to the polls.

This piece was first published by Forbes.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.

Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 15-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. (Organization citations are for identification only and do not constitute an endorsement or partnership.)

Politics

UN Committee Unexpectedly Withholds Marijuana Scheduling Recommendations

Published

on

On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) was expected to make recommendations about the international legal status of marijuana, which reform advocates hoped would include a call to deschedule the plant and free up member countries to pursue legalization.

But in a surprise twist, a representative from the organization announced that WHO, a specialized agency of the United Nations, would be temporarily withholding the results of its cannabis assessment, even as it released recommendations on an opioid painkiller and synthetic cannabinoids. The marijuana recommendations are now expected to come out in January.

Earlier this year, the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) released a pre-review of marijuana that included several positive, evidentiary findings. Cannabis has never caused a fatal overdose, the committee said, and research demonstrates that ingredients in the plant can effectively treat pain and improve sleep, for example.

The pre-review results prompted a more in-depth critical review, one of the final stages before the UN’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) makes a determination about whether marijuana should remain in the most restrictive international drug classification. But on Friday, as observers anxiously awaited that determination, WHO pumped the brakes. The committee said it needed more time “for clearance reasons,” according to the International Drug Policy Consortium.

“This decision to withhold the results of the critical review of cannabis appears to be politically motivated,” Michael Krawitz, a U.S. Air Force veteran and legalization advocate who has pushed for international reform, said in a press release.

“The WHO has been answering many questions about cannabis legalization, which is not within their mandate. I hope the WHO shows courage and stands behind their work on cannabis, findings we expect to be positive based upon recent WHO statements and their other actions today.”

Those other actions include recommending that the opioid painkiller tramadol should not be scheduled under international treaties out of concern that such restrictions would limit access and hurt patients. In August, the committee made a similar recommendation about pure cannabidiol, or CBD, a component of marijuana.

While the critical review of marijuana itself has been postponed, the committee’s recommendations for its international scheduling are still expected to go up for a vote in the CND in March. If the committee does decide to recommend that cannabis be removed from international control, that would have wide-ranging implications for the reform efforts around the world.

In the U.S., the federal government has routinely cited obligations under international treaties to which it is a party as reasons to continue to ban marijuana and its derivatives. For instance, the Food and Drug Administration said in May that CBD doesn’t meet the criteria for federal scheduling at all, but that international treaties obliged it to recommend rescheduling to Schedule V.

“If treaty obligations do not require control of CBD, or if the international controls on CBD change in the future, this recommendation will need to be promptly revisited,” the agency said.

FDA Says Marijuana Ingredient CBD Doesn’t Meet Criteria For Federal Control

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
Continue Reading

Politics

Where Trump’s Pick For Attorney General Stands On Drug Policy

Published

on

President Donald Trump said on Friday that he plans to nominate William Barr to replace Jeff Sessions as U.S. attorney general.

Barr, who previously served in the position under President George H. W. Bush’s administration, seems less openly hostile to marijuana compared to other potential nominees whose names were floated—like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who pledged to crack down on state-legal cannabis activity during his failed 2016 presidential bid.

That said, he developed a reputation as anti-drug while overseeing harsh enforcement policies under Bush.

The prospective nominee seems to share a worldview with the late president under whom he served. Bush called for “more prisons, more jails, more courts, more prosecutors” to combat drug use and dramatically increased the federal drug control budget to accomplish that goal. In 1992, Barr sanctioned a report that made the “case for more incarceration” as a means to reduce violent crime.

Barr wrote a letter explaining why he was releasing the report, which has now resurfaced as observers attempt to gauge how he will approach drug policy in the 21st century.

“[T]here is no better way to reduce crime than to identify, target, and incapacitate those hardened criminals who commit staggering numbers of violent crimes whenever they are on the streets,” he wrote. “Of course, we cannot incapacitate these criminals unless we build sufficient prison and jail space to house them.”

“Revolving-door justice resulting from inadequate prison and jail space breeds disrespect for the law and places our citizens at risk, unnecessarily, of becoming victims of violent crime.”

He also wrote a letter to lawmakers in 2015 defending the criminal justice system—including mandatory minimum sentences—and encouraging Congress not to bring up a sentencing reform bill.

“It’s hard to imagine an Attorney General as bad as Jeff Sessions when it comes to criminal justice and the drug war, but Trump seems to have found one,” Michael Collins, director of national drug affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a press release. “Nominating Barr totally undermines Trump’s recent endorsement of sentencing reform.”

“The vast majority of Americans believe the war on drugs needs to be replaced with a health-centered approach. It is critically important that the next Attorney General be committed to defending basic rights and moving away from failed drug war policies. William Barr is a disastrous choice.”

Another window into Barr’s criminal justice perspective comes from 1989, when he wrote a Justice Department memo that authorized the FBI to apprehend suspected fugitives living in other countries and extradite them to the U.S. without first getting permission from the country. The intent of the memo seemed to be to enable the U.S. to more easily capture international drug traffickers.

In 2002, Barr compared drug trafficking to terrorism and described the drug war as the “biggest frustration” he faced under Bush. The administration “did a very good job putting in place the building blocks for intelligence building and international cooperation, but we never tightened the noose,” he said.

Interestingly, as The Washington Post reported, Barr would be heading up a department where his daughter, Mary Daly, also works. Daly is the director of opioid enforcement and prevention efforts in the deputy attorney general’s office, and she’s established herself as an advocate for tougher criminal enforcement aimed at driving out the opioid epidemic.

Today’s drug policy landscape is a lot different than it was in the early 1990s, though, and it’s yet to be seen how Barr, if confirmed by the Senate, will navigate conflicting state and federal marijuana laws. He’ll also be inheriting a Justice Department that no longer operates under an Obama-era policy of general non-intervention, after Sessions moved this year to rescind the so-called Cole memo that provided guidance on federal cannabis enforcement.

But for advocates, at least it’s not the guy who said “good people don’t smoke marijuana” anymore and it won’t be one who campaigned for president saying he’d enforce federal prohibition in legal states, either.

Surgeon General Says Marijuana’s Schedule I Status Hinders Research

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
Continue Reading

Politics

Marijuana Bills Are Already Being Pre-Filed For 2019 Legislative Sessions

Published

on

If you thought 2018 was a big year for marijuana, gear up for 2019. Before the next legislative session has even started, lawmakers in at least four states have already pre-filed a wide range of cannabis reform bills.

In Missouri, where voters approved a medical marijuana initiative during last month’s midterm election, a state lawmaker has already drafted a piece of legislation that would legalize cannabis for adult-use—though it would not establish a retail sales system. Instead, adults 21 and older would be allowed to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and grow up to six plants.

At least one marijuana decriminalization bill will be on the table in Virginia next year. The legislation would reduce the penalty for simple possession from a misdemeanor offense punishable by a maximum of a $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail to a civil penalty punishable by a $50 fine for first-time offenders, $100 for second-time offenders and $250 for subsequent offenses.


Marijuana Moment is currently tracking more than 900 cannabis bills in state legislatures and Congress. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

Down in Texas, lawmakers in the state House and Senate have already pre-filed no fewer than 12 marijuana-related bills. The legislative proposals range from constitutional amendments to fully legalize and regulate cannabis to simple decriminalization policies to lessen penalties for low-level possession.

Finally, in Nevada, where cannabis is legal for adults, lawmakers have introduced a flurry of what are called “bill draft requests” that relate to marijuana. Proposals to revise cannabis tax policies, create a state bank that could potentially service the legal industry and regulate hemp cultivation—among several others—could be taken up by the state legislature next year.

While the pre-filing process has already started in most states, there’s still time and it’s possible that more cannabis legislation will be introduced for consideration in coming days and weeks prior to the formal start of 2019 legislative sessions.

Missouri Lawmaker Files Marijuana Legalization Bill After Voters Approve Medical Cannabis

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Stay Up To The Moment

Marijuana News In Your Inbox


Support Marijuana Moment

Marijuana News In Your Inbox