2016 Marijuana-Related Statewide Ballot Proposals

  • by Danielle Keane, NORML Political Director July 19, 2016

    ballot_box_leafWe’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: 2016 is set to be a monumental year for marijuana law reform. There are currently nine pending ballot initiatives to either legalize adult marijuana use or to legalize the use of medical marijuana for qualifying medical conditions. The country could double the number of states that allow the recreational use of marijuana and could potentially expand the therapeutic benefits of marijuana use to millions of Americans come November.

    Find below a summary of each of these pending initiatives, links to the campaign websites and to the initiative texts so you can be an informed voter this November. (A Michigan social use initiative effort is in litigation and is not included in the summary below.)

    Name: Arizona Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act
    Ballot Number: N/A — signatures awaiting verification from the Secretary of State’s office
    Proponents: The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (Marijuana Policy Project)
    Website: Regulate Marijuana Like AlcoholInitiative Language
    Summary: The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act allows adults twenty-one years of age and older to possess and to privately consume and grow limited amounts of marijuana; it creates a system in which licensed businesses can produce and sell marijuana; establishes a Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control to regulate the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, transportation, and sale of marijuana; and provides local governments with the authority to regulate and limit marijuana businesses.

    Name: The 2016 Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act
    Ballot Number: N/A
    Proponents: Arkansans for Compassionate Care
    Website: The Arkansas Medical Cannabis ActInitiative Language
    Summary: The 2016 Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act establishes a statewide program for the licensed production, analytic testing, and distribution of medicinal cannabis. Under the program, patients diagnosed by a physician with one of over 50 qualifying conditions may obtain cannabis from one of up to 38 licensed non-profit care centers. Qualified patients who do not have a center operating in their vicinity will be permitted to obtain a ‘hardship certificate’ in order to cultivate their own medicine at home. A similar initiative narrowly failed in the state in 2012, garnering over 48 percent of the vote.

    Name: Adult Use of Marijuana Act
    Ballot Number: Proposition 64
    Proponents: Let’s Get It Right CA
    Website: Yes on Prop 64Initiative Language
    Summary: Passage of the measure would permit adults to legally grow (up to six plants) and possess personal use quantities of cannabis (up to one ounce of flower and/or up to eight grams of concentrate) while also licensing commercial cannabis production and retail sales. The measure prohibits localities from taking actions to infringe upon adults’ ability to possess and cultivate cannabis for non-commercial purposes. The initiative language specifies that it is not intended to “repeal, affect, restrict, or preempt … laws pertaining to the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.” The AUMA is endorsed by the ACLU of California, the California Democratic Party, the California Medical Association, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the California NAACP, the Drug Policy Alliance, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and NORML. Sixty percent of likely California voters say that they intend to vote for the initiative this fall, according to a February 2016 Probolsky Research poll.

    Name: Use of Marijuana For Debilitating Conditions
    Ballot Number: Amendment 2
    Proponents: United For Care
    Website: United For CareInitiative Language
    Summary: Passage of the amendment would permit qualified patients to possess and obtain cannabis from state-licensed facilities. According to a recent statewide poll, 68 percent of Florida voters say that they support the passage of the amendment. According to Florida law, 60 percent of voters must approve a constitutional amendment in order for it to become law. In November 2014, Floridians narrowly rejected a similar amendment, which received 58 percent of the vote.

    Name: Marijuana Legalization Act
    Ballot Number: Question 1
    Proponents: Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol
    Website: Regulate MaineInitiative Language
    Summary: If enacted by voters in November, the measure would allow adults to legally possess up to two and one-half ounces of marijuana and to cultivate marijuana (up to six mature plants and the entire yields of said plants) for their own personal use. The measure would also establish licensing for the commercial production and retail sale of cannabis. Retail sales of cannabis would be subject to a ten percent sales tax. Non-commercial transactions and/or retail sales involving medical cannabis would not be subject to taxation.

    Name: Marijuana Legalization Initiative
    Ballot Number: N/A — signatures awaiting verification from the Secretary of State’s office
    Proponents: The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Massachusetts
    Website: Regulate Marijuana Like AlcoholInitiative Language
    Summary: The initiative allows adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana outside of their residences and up to 10 ounces of marijuana in an enclosed, locked space within their residences, which mimics the current in-residence allowance established by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for medical marijuana patients. It allows adults 21 years of age and older to grow up to six marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked space within their residences and possess the marijuana produced by those plants in the location where it was grown.

    Name: New Approach Missouri
    Ballot Number: N/A — signatures awaiting verification from the Secretary of State’s office
    Proponents: New Approach Missouri
    Website: New Approach MissouriInitiative Language
    Summary: The initiative creates a statewide system for production and sale of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products. It also provides for limited and regulated patient cultivation. The initiative levies a four percent retail tax, and all revenue in excess of the cost of regulating the medical cannabis program will go to help Missouri’s veterans. The initiative maintains the current prohibition on public use and driving under the influence. It also allows the Department of Health and Senior Services to institute a seed-to-sale tracking system to ensure that the product and money do not reach the illicit market. The initiative puts the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services in charge of licensing and implementation, but also allows the department to contract with other state agencies when necessary for effective and efficient regulation. Sixty-two percent of registered voters voice support for the measure, according to survey data compiled by Public Policy Polling.

    Name: Montana Medical Marijuana Initiative
    Ballot Number: I-182
    Proponents: Montana Citizens for I-182
    Website: YesOn182Initiative Language
    Summary: I-182 repeals the limit of three patients for each licensed provider, and allows providers to hire employees to cultivate, dispense, and transport medical marijuana. I-182 repeals the requirement that physicians who provide certifications for 25 or more patients annually be referred to the board of medical examiners. I-182 removes the authority of law enforcement to conduct unannounced inspections of medical marijuana facilities, and requires annual inspections by the state.

    Name: Nevada Marijuana Legalization Initiative
    Ballot Number: Question 2
    Proponents: Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Nevada
    Website: Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in NevadaInitiative Language
    Summary: The ballot language permits adults to possess and grow personal use quantities of cannabis (up to one ounce and/or six plants) for non-commercial purposes. The measure also regulates and taxes the commercial production and retail sale of cannabis. It states, “The People of the State of Nevada find and declare that the use of marijuana should be legal for persons 21 years of age or older, and its cultivation and sale should be regulated similar to other businesses.”

    24 Responses to “2016 Marijuana-Related Statewide Ballot Proposals”

    1. Mark Klein says:

      how come nothing on the ND Ballet proposal?

    2. of course we have been sleeping much too long. Legalize this Plant created by God. ALL CURCHES UNITE

    3. Hemp is so very important in Virginia

      Cannabis is needed to heal our body’s of harmful living in a cancer giving state
      Dope on every corner
      Step down treatment of cannabis needed to heal I’ve lost my grandkids cause I heal and Virginia DSS drug court turned into lies my grandson misdiagnosed ADHD
      Vyvanse killing his inner organs .they say I have no grandparents rights they have no right drugging my baby up
      Virginia state would rather harm bodys instead of helping us heal

      • Scott B says:

        I stand with you Melissa. I am in VA also. Our MJ laws are way behind the times and we are suffering. We need real leaders who speak for the people and not just the establishment.

    4. Julian says:

      Fascinating, wonder who gets the contract for seed-to-sale tracking services? …Because we know the software licenses will come from Microsoft… Is %4 tax enough to cover the services of public health inspectors? Or is Missouri going to have to privatize seed-to-sale inspection service contracts? Does this mean underpaid social workers are going to have to use discretion on their budgets to leave child custody cases alone where parents self medicate and focus on illegal seed-to-sale operations?

      Missouri needs nurse practitioners authorized to distribute and recommend cannabis!! Go Doctor Sisley! Go N.P. Heather Manus! One state at a time! We’ve got your backs!

    5. Jeshua says:

      I could 5 recreational legalization initiatives above. That would more than double the number of states, wouldn’t it?

      [Paul Armentano responds: Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Washington DC presently permit adult use.]

    6. jean baran says:

      Why don’t I see anything about Pa. Legalization of medical marijuana? I’m in desperate need of this product and am in wheelchair and recently moved so I don’t know anyone in my area. In fact, I just recently found your website by searching for news & relief .

      [Paul Armentano responds: Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana was recently enacted but the program has yet to be implemented. A summary of the law is here: http://norml.org/legal/item/pennsylvania-medical-marijuana-law?category_id=835

    7. Mark Mitcham says:

      DEA has about a week left to announce its decision regarding the rescheduling of cannabis, according to its own calendar (if they have one.) The pattern has always been, to wait until the last possible moment, and then to deny rescheduling.

      Anybody else feel a little like Charlie Brown, being set up by Lucy and her football? Again?

      I’m not getting my hopes up. Even if they go to schedule II, the cops will still get to keep locking people up for pot, because only a fraction of the people that need it will be able to jump through the hoops that still exist for schedule II drugs; and so I would expect a thriving black market for the cops to feed upon. That’s still marijuana prohibition, to my way of thinking.

      Would schedule II be a step forward? I would have to say “yes”, but I would also tend to characterize it as a prohibitionist’s strategic retreat, which means they are still fighting against us, and thus there will still be plenty of reform work to do.

      If they DE-scheduled altogether, I’d be so knocked out that I would think I was dreaming, and I might try to fly, or go to work naked, or something like that!

      • Julian says:

        Keep your pants on Mark, we’re getting set up for schedule II. Especially If I recall, you said once you were a school janitor. Definitely want to keep the pants on. :-)
        Now if schedule II results in making us jump through firey hoops to get our weed from Walgreens than by all means, go naked in appropriate protest.

        • Mark Mitcham says:

          If I’m going to go to jail, let’s do it for the right reasons!
          Seriously, though… so, you think it’s schedule II by the DEA? When Hillary has already pledged to do it? Maybe, but I’m not so sure. I’m still betting on a DEA reaffirmation of Schedule I. Of course, I could be wrong, I guess time will tell… maybe I’m just afraid I’ll be played for a sucker again!

    8. John says:

      It takes 2000 gallons of water to bring a marijuana plant from seed to harvest. Why would anyone want to bring large scale growing to California? Illegal grows have started in rural counties where people live off of their wells. These new growers are trucking in water and ruining roads. This state is already out of water and legalization will push it over the precipice. There will be no turning back.

      • Julian says:

        Another marijuana myth to bust.
        Medicinal marijuana of good quality is better cultivated indoors. Hemp is better outdoors, using half the water of corn or cotton. Which is not to say people don’t grow mmj outdoors, but California is already taking premptive action on water restrictions for the inevitable state legalization of marijuana;


        But here is the irony; the restrictions are focused on water contamination and water degridation, two problems that outdoor marijuana, specifically hemp, are part of a solution compared to the GMO water sucking crops being grown to feed America. Without even picking on the water-sucking almond industry that could be supplemented with more nutritious hemp seed, or the fact that %45 of America’s fruit and vegetables come from the desert central valley of California where wells have run dry, there exist the problem that the Colorado river is running dry… and yet more than half of these food products go to waste if they dont make the shelf quality of our grocery stores. Think that consumers will let any cannabis go to waste? Why? When we can feed the roots and stems to pigs for %40 leaner (and happier) meat?

        Hemp loses its leaves creating natural fertilizer, reducing the use of petroleum products that require more water to disperse.
        Cannabis is not genetically modified to resist Monsantos herbicides like Round Up which make food like corn even harder to digest and require more water… Because cannabis doesn’t NEED herbicides and very little pesticides. The resin creates a natural insect repellent, and spider mites can be mitigated by controlling the PH balance of the soil, which is an already burgeoning industry with commercials for Black Magic soil airing on the recent NBA finals.

      • Julian says:

        Therefore legalized and well regulated outdoor cannabis production will reduce the erosion that California is so worried about. In fact hemp is proven a soil establisher that prevents erosion which history has proven since newly introduced corn became more profitable than hemp during the last Chinese dynasty 500 years ago. Peasants took corn and sweet potatoes up hill to profit from their sale without being taxed by their landlords by clear-cutting trees and hemp fields on hilltops, resulting in devastating flooding of the rice fields, the heart of the Chinese economy. Charles Mann, author of “1493” argues this agricultural disaster may have lead to the Communist China we know today.
        We could be growing hemp to save our precious top soil from mountain tops to the river’s end where our coastlines are receding due to excess well water use dropping ground elevations while ocean levels rise. Instead, we are over irrigating for corn subsidies that our cows can’t even digest anymore because it’s artificially modified for its oil… (Oh, and our Indian ancestors never intended to feed corn to cows, btw, were supposed to roast it or fry it for human consumption to release its nutrition)… And were doing all this just to sell some Round Up that cannabis doesn’t even need for production? How is the SW US ever supposed to survive another year of drought?!

        If there is any proof this “cannabis water contamination” is the latest propaganda from big food, read this gem;


        No, rural America that fails to google where your d!€k is, THC in your well water is not going to get you high. Trust me, we would have spiked the school water supply WAY back when prohibition began 75 years ago if that was even possible. Or at least I would have…

      • moldy says:

        They’re already growing weed and no, it doesn’t take that much water. Maybe with legalization they can collect some tax money instead of zero.

    9. tim says:

      Hello Wisconsin legislators….wake the f up.there are people hurting out here while the ass kiss scott walker is out sniffing political butts for his oun gain.We need to get at the very least ,medical marijuana,do us a favor and save time and taxpayers money go straight to legalizing! Grow a pair Wisconsin!packer games and tailgateing should not be our only legacy.

    10. odis Lewis says:

      first it’s all about who will control it. next it’s whose pocket will the money[and it’s alot of money] go into.finally last is how do we keep kids from using it which they the one’s who where using it and now that it’s becoming less aginst the law [to a degree] the useage among teens is down from years ago.

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