Marijuana News Roundup: Pot on the November Ballot in 9 States

Print Email

With just over nine weeks remaining before the November election, voters in some of the nine states where a medical or recreational marijuana measure is on the ballot and who have not yet made up their minds are not likely to affect the outcome much. At least, that appears to be the case based on some recent polling.

Among the five states where recreational marijuana use is being considered, Californians seem already to have made up their minds. Including a poll taken in February, and three more taken since mid-June, average support for legalizing marijuana now runs just over 60%. Opponents of the measure (known as Prop 64) garner 37% of the voters, and less than 2% are undecided.

The vote is much tighter in Massachusetts, where support for a recreational marijuana initiative  (known as Question 4) has lost ground and is trailing by 10 points in the most recent poll, 51% opposed to 41% in favor. This despite the fact that no committee to oppose the measure has been registered and proponents have raised nearly $500,000 in cash and in-kind donations.

Florida voters will be voting again on a proposed constitutional amendment  (known as Amendment 2) to legalize the use of medical marijuana in the state. A similar initiative was defeated just two years ago when supporters fell short of a 60% required majority by just two percentage points. Proponents and opponents had raised more than $5.6 million as of late July, with supporters’ war chest more than double that of opponents, $3.9 million to $1.8 million.

Other states voting on recreational use measures are Nevada, Arizona and Maine. Other states voting on medical marijuana are Arkansas, North Dakota and Montana.

Marijuana: A Potent Disrupter for Young Users, Whose Brains Are Still Developing

Devan Fuentes made it all the way through San Clemente High School without drinking or using drugs. He vividly remembers the first time he smoked pot. He was visiting a friend at Occidental College, and decided the moment had come.

“They brought out a giant three-foot bong,” Fuentes told me the other day in a rustic coffee shop tucked into this town’s historic Los Rios neighborhood. “I heard a lot of people don’t get high their first time, so I held it in for a long time, one large hit. Immediately, I couldn’t feel my legs.”

This was not an entirely unpleasant sensation for Fuentes, 23, who described his younger self as quiet, prone to depression and even “sort of an outcast.”

Pot made him feel more extroverted.

Read more in the Los Angeles Times.