Thursday, November 10, 2016

California, Massachusetts, & Nevada cannabis legalization initiatives pass

Voters Legalize Marijuana in Three States - The New York Times - Thomas Fuller:

November 9, 2016. - "Voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada legalized marijuana on Tuesday in what advocates said was a reflection of the country’s changing attitude toward the drug.

"A similar measure in Maine led by less than a point with 98 percent of precincts reporting. Voters in Arizona defeated a legalization measure.

"Leading up to the election, recreational marijuana use was legal in four states: Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, along with the District of Columbia.

"With the addition of California, Massachusetts and Nevada, the percentage of Americans living in states where marijuana use is legal for adults rose above 20 percent, from 5 percent.

"A Gallup poll in October found nationwide support for legalization at 60 percent, the highest level in the 47 years the organization has tracked the issue. Support is rising even though some public health experts warn that there have been insufficient studies of the drug’s effects, and that law enforcement agencies lack reliable tests and protocols to determine whether a driver is impaired by marijuana.

"Supporters in California portrayed legalization as both a social justice and a criminal justice issue, saying the measure would help redress the disproportionate numbers of arrests and convictions among minorities for drug crimes.

"A bill to legalize marijuana in Vermont, supported by Gov. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, failed this year. But in Massachusetts, public support for legalization rose during the fall, even with bipartisan opposition from the state’s top elected officials and an organized anti-legalization campaign.

"In addition to Tuesday’s votes on recreational marijuana, Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota all passed medical marijuana initiatives."

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