Election Day 2016: A Clear Majority of States Now Have Laws Legalizing Medical Marijuana
Posted on November 09, 2016 by Jeffrey FeilerYesterday, November 8, 2016, voters propelled the national marijuana legalization movement further forward as a number of states passed ballot initiatives, adding to the twenty-five states and Washington D.C. that already have medical marijuana laws in place. Up until yesterday, only four States, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska, permitted the sale of recreational marijuana. Now, add to that list four more States, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada, all of which passed adult use of recreational marijuana initiatives. Also, add five more states, Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota, that added medical marijuana laws. Now, a clear majority of states have laws legalizing medical marijuana in place. As a Florida medical marijuana lawyer, I'd like to shed some light on how these new recreational initiatives are being passed, and what kind of benefits you can anticipate as both state residents and business owners.
With adult use measures being approved in four states (CA, MA, ME, NV) and medical marijuana initiatives passing in another five (AR, FL, MT, ND)
Here is a breakdown of the following states and their levels of approval for marijuana legislation that passed on November 8th, 2016 (via CBSN).
Can you believe it has been two decades since California first approved medical marijuana? This election, it was one of five states that chose whether or not to allow recreational marijuana for adults in the state.
As California is the state with the highest population, it's considered a great victory for legalization.
Now that recreational marijuana usage is approved, it will be legal along the entire West Coast. This is a big step forward to getting marijuana de-scheduled.
According to the New York Times, Maine has approved recreational marijuana. It has been a close call, as the "Yes" vote leads by 1 point, with 91 percent of precincts reporting. The polling breakdown is below:
Answer Votes Pct.
Yes 348,652 50.3%
No 344,250 49.7
91% reporting (536 of 589 precincts)
The plan in Maine is to regulate and tax marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. In Maine, recreational marijuana would be regulated by the existing state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.
People ages 21+ may possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and cultivate up to six pot plants in their homes. Maine's proposal calls for a flat 10 percent sales tax on retail marijuana.
Massachusetts is considered the first state in the eastern United States to legalize recreational marijuana. The governing system behind this will be a brand new three-member Cannabis Control Commission. This commission will be appointed by the state treasurer. In addition to the commission, advisement will be undertaken by the Cannabis Advisory Board, which will have 15 members appointed by the governor.
Taxes levied will include a 3.75 percent surcharge on retail sales of marijuana, on top of the state's regular 6.25 percent sales tax. Local jurisdictions will be allowed to add as much as a 2 percent tax, creating a combined maximum tax of 12 percent on pot products.
Proposition 205 for recreational marijuana usage in Arizona did not pass.
Supporters of the bill hallmarked a future in which black markets for the drugs would be eliminated, freeing up police and raising money for K-12 schools.
Opponents took the stance that legalization would increase drug trafficking. The idea behind this was that growers in Arizona would be able to sell to states where it's illegal. They also raised concerns about teen use and deadly car crashes tied to marijuana.
Medical marijuana is currently legal in Arizona.
Nevada also made a big move in supporting recreational marijuana. The drug will be fully legal there and this will also pave the way to de-scheduling the plant.
Both possession and use by adults will be permitted for up to one ounce of marijuana. Residents can expect a 15 percent excise tax on marijuana sales with revenues going towards education. Businesses with medical marijuana certification will be among the first to be eligible for licenses.
For Nevada, legalizing pot could generate as much as $20 million annually in taxes for Nevada schools.
Amendment 2 was the first step to pass marijuana legalization into Florida law. We can now proudly say we have medical marijuana in this great state. As a medical marijuana lawyer, I am available for paid consultation to discuss the state of affairs in Florida medical marijuana and the numerous types of business opportunities which may be available. For more information, contact Feiler Marijuana Law at (305) 662-5663 today.