Tomorrow, 5 states will decide on whether or not to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use. California, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts and Arizona residents will vote on whether adults over the age of 21 will be allowed to possess, transport and, in some cases, grow small quantities of marijuana for personal use. The vote could potentially end several decades of prohibition in the states and the legalization of marijuana in California could tip the scales in favor of legalization across the nation. California holds the 6th largest economy in the world and the state holds great influence over trends across the globe.
What We Already Know About the Legalization of Marijuana
At this time marijuana remains illegal under federal law, although the federal government has passed legislation that prevents them from interfering with state law on the matter. The voting states could potentially join Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon and Washington D.C. in having a legal cannabis industry. According to data collected from the Marijuana Policy Group, the marijuana industry has flushed the economy in those states with Colorado alone already making $2.39 billion from the cannabis industry and 18,000 jobs being created last year alone. The tax revenue made from recreational marijuana is divided up to pay for itself with millions more going towards schools, youth programs and other public services.
California’s Prop. 64
Proposition 64 will appear on the California ballot. It would allow adults over 21 to possess, transport and grow marijuana for personal use. Adults could possess 1 ounce or grow 6 plants. It would be taxed at 15% and cultivation would also be taxed.
Nevada’s Question 2
Question 2 allows adults over 21 to possess and purchase up to an ounce of marijuana or up to 1/8 of an ounce of concentrated cannabis.
Massachusetts’ Question 4
Question 4 on the ballot would allow adults over 21 to be able to possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana in their homes and have 1 ounce at a time on their persons. It would be taxed and regulated in the same way alcohol is handled.
Maine’s Question 1
Question 1 in Maine would allow adults over 21 to purchase and possess marijuana. It would be allowed to be sold by retailers and in some licensed social clubs. Question 1 would see taxes set at 10%.
Arizona’s Prop. 205
Proposition 205 is similar to California’s proposition, allowing adults over 21 to possess and grow marijuana. Like California it would be taxed at 15%.
A poll conducted by Atlantic suggests that that all 5 states are leaning towards the legalization of marijuana tomorrow. The survey is backed by a recent Gallup poll that indicates that 60 percent of the country is in favor of legalization now. Medical marijuana is currently legal in 25 states with 4 more voting on the issue tomorrow. This means that over half the country has already voted for the legalization of marijuana in some form or another. If all states vote in favor of these propositions tomorrow, it means that 25 percent of the country will have ended prohibition in favor of a legalized market. Time will tell but, either way, the trend seems to be leaning in favor of the plant.