Recreational marijuana ballot proposal passes

With most polls reporting following Tuesday's US midterm elections, MI residents voted in favour of legalizing recreational cannabis for anyone 21 years old or older in the state, while voters in Missouri and Utah both approved ballot measures to allow the sale of medical marijuana.

MI became the 10th U.S. state - and first in the Midwest - to legalize recreational pot.

The initiative creates a system to regulate, tax and sell recreational marijuana to adults in the state.

Ron Galaviz said before Election Day that if the measure passed, he and his colleagues envisioned "dedicated patrols" to spot drivers coming from MI who might be high or have pot on them.

Medical marijuana was first approved by MI voters back in 2008.

In Florida, 63 percent voted to pass a measure that restores voting rights to 1.5 million former convicts.

Kristin Schrader, 51, a Democrat from Superior Township in Washtenaw County, said she voted to legalize marijuana because she doesn't want people leaving MI to get it.

Individuals age 21 and older will be able to carry up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana flower and 15 grams of concentrate, including up to 10 ounces and 12 plants at home. Colorado voters passed their initiative on November 6, 2012 and had to wait a month until a new state amendment went into effect on December 6, 2012, making marijuana officially legal in Colorado.

The state's current 3 percent tax on medical marijuana will go away, replaced with a 10 percent rate for non-medical marijuana. Some in the industry see federal legalization of medical marijuana as the best path to ending prohibition in the U.S., which has held big banks and institutional investors on the sidelines. "We hope lawmakers will implement the measure efficiently and effectively to ensure qualified patients can gain access to their medicine as soon as possible".

Voters in Utah have voted "Yes" to Proposition 2 by a margin of 53 percent to 47 percent.

Voters in Utah also were considering whether to legalize medical marijuana.

Long demonized as a unsafe drug, and still considered an illicit substance with no medical use by the federal government, marijuana is increasingly going mainstream as investors pour billions into the industry. "We hope the results of this election will inspire Congress to finally start addressing the tension that exists between state and federal marijuana laws in our nation". On a more municipal level, voters in various cities across OH weighed questions related to decriminalization and minimizing punishments so that possession is treated like a traffic ticket instead of a misdemeanor. Chairman of the House Rules Committee since 2013, Sessions had blocked the advance of over 36 marijuana-related federal amendments alone.

  • Wendy Palmer