State ballot measures to watch on Election Night

Midterms and marijuana: These 4 states will vote on legal pot

Midterms and marijuana: These 4 states will vote on legal pot

Measures legalizing recreational marijuana are being considered during the midterm elections by voters in MI and North Dakota, potentially adding either to the list of nine states with similar laws now in place.

A recreational marijuana measure in North Dakota, Measure 3, would also legalize possession and sale of the plant, albeit without implementing a state-wide system to tax and regulate purchases.

The bill will not allow citizens to grow their own plants and will establish a state-run medical marijuana distribution network.

MI now joins nine other states that have legalized marijuana for all uses: Washington, Colorado, California, Oregon, Alaska, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada and Vermont.

North Dakota's ballot measure came out of nowhere, taking much of the marijuana policy world by surprise. There are no limits on cannabis possession, sale, and regulation in the proposal.

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Poll numbers from October yielded conflicting results, one showing 51 per cent in favor of passing the initiative and another showing 65 per cent opposition, according to the Washington Post.

Proposals legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes are pending in Missouri and Utah, meanwhile, where their passage would increase the number of states that permit medical cannabis from 31. The measures differ on some details, like how much to tax medical pot and whether patients are allowed to grow their own plants.

According to the polls MI seems likely to legalize marijuana, with recent Gallup and the Pew Research Center polls showing it had the support of more than 60 percent of respondents.

Polling on the issue has been scant, but a survey in August showed that voters supported, in general terms, an amendment to the state constitution that would legalize medical marijuana. If two or more of the measures pass, it's likely that the measure that receives the most votes will go into effect. In Utah, meanwhile, Gov. Gary Herbert said he would ask lawmakers to work on a bill legalizing medical marijuana if voters reject Proposition 2 at the polls Tuesday.

Other medical marijuana supporters are unhappy with the proposed compromise bill, which is more limited in scope than medical marijuana programs in other states.

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