From California, with its counterculture heritage, to the fishing ports and mill towns of Maine, millions of Americans in nine states will vote Nov. 8 on expanding legal access to marijuana, reports the Arizona Republic. Collectively, the ballot measures amount to the closest the U.S. has come to a national referendum on the drug. Five states — Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada — will consider legalizing the recreational use of pot for anyone 21 and over. Three others — Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota — will decide whether to permit marijuana for medical purposes. Montana will weigh whether to ease restrictions on an existing medical marijuana law.
If “yes” votes prevail across the country, about 75 million people accounting for 23 percent of the nation’s population would live in states where recreational pot is legal. The jurisdictions where that’s already the case — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington state and the District of Columbia — have about 18 million residents, or 5.6 percent of the population. Twenty-five states allow medical marijuana. The newspaper give details of the marijuana issues on next month’s ballot.