Colorado and Nevada voters decide Nov. 7 whether to remove all penalties for adults 21 or older possessing up to an ounce of marijuana. Alaska is the only state that allows penalty-free possession of marijuana; a court struck down part of a state law that made it a misdemeanor for adults to have less than 1 ounce of marijuana, USA Today reports. At least five cities are letting voters decide whether to direct police to make enforcement of marijuana laws a low priority: Missoula, Mt.; Eureka Springs, Ar.; and three California cities: Santa Cruz, Santa Monica, and Santa Barbara.
In Colorado, a spokesman for a group pushing the initiative argues that “every objective study has found that marijuana is far less harmful to the people who use it and society than alcohol.” A Rocky Mountain News poll in late September showed 53 percent of Colorado voters oppose the referendum. In Nevada, where voters defeated a legalization measure in 2002 by 61 percent, this year’s measure would allow adults to possess up to an ounce and boost criminal penalties for drivers who cause death or serious injury while driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.