Laying Odds on Four States’ Marijuana Legalization Votes

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Four more states could legalize medicinal or even recreational marijuana next week, and Reason summarizes the measures with some odds-making on which proposals are most likely to pass. In Utah, notwithstanding opposition from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, polls indicate that nearly two-thirds of Utah voters think patients should be able to use marijuana if their doctors recommend it. Prospects for medical marijuana look dimmer in Missouri, where surveys indicate weaker public support and voters will face a potentially confusing choice of three separate initiatives on the subject. It seems even less likely that North Dakota voters, who just two years ago approved medical marijuana by a surprisingly large margin, are ready to legalize recreational use. But recreational legalization seems to have a pretty good shot in Michigan.

In Michigan, Proposal 1 would allow adults 21 or older to possess 2.5 ounces or less of marijuana in public, transfer that amount to other adults “without remuneration,” possess up to 10 ounces at home, and grow up to 12 plants for personal consumption. The initiative also would establish a licensing system for commercial production and distribution, subject to a 10 percent tax on retail sales. North Dakota’s Measure 3 would go further than any initiative enacted so far by removing marijuana from the state’s list of prohibited substances and thereby legalizing “any nonviolent marijuana activity, except for the sale of marijuana to a person under the age of 21.” Possession of marijuana by minors would be treated the same as possession of alcohol. The North Dakota initiative is also unique in requiring “automatic expungement of the record of an individual who has a drug conviction for a controlled substance that has been legalized.”

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