After Midterms, Marijuana Legalized in 3 More States

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Prior to Tuesday’s elections, 31 states and the District of Columbia had laws on the books that legalized marijuana either for medicinal or recreational use or both. Five more states had initiatives on yesterday’s ballot that would have legalized marijuana use in some way.

Michigan and North Dakota had recreational legalization up for a vote, while Utah, Oklahoma and Missouri were voting on whether to join the other 31 states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal use. Not included in this summary were non-statewide measures in which cities or towns may have local decriminalization measures or efforts underway.

Tuesday’s results were mixed. In one state, voters approved marijuana for recreational use and in two others medical use was approved. Voters in one state rejected a measure to legalize marijuana for recreational use, and in one other state, a ballot question was approved that extended existing medical marijuana law.

In Michigan, voters approved Proposal 1 to legalize the use and possession of marijuana for recreational use for people 21 and older. The measure also levies a tax on marijuana sales. According to Ballotpedia, 57% of voters approved the measure with 71% of the vote counted. Michigan becomes the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana use.

Missouri had three marijuana measures on Tuesday’s ballot. Amendment 2, approved by 65% of voters, amends the state constitution to legalize marijuana for medicinal use, to impose a 4% sales tax on marijuana and to spend the tax revenues on health care services for veterans. Another constitutional amendment, Amendment 3, was defeated with 69% of voters rejecting its proposed legalization of marijuana for medical purposes, a 15% sales tax and tax proceeds to be used for research. Proposition C was similar to Amendment 2 but proposed a lower sales tax rate (2%) and alternate uses for tax collections. About 57% of voters rejected the proposal.

In Utah, voters appear poised to approve Proposition 2 that legalizes marijuana for medical use with qualifying medical illnesses. Ballotpedia reports that 53% of voters supported the measure with 76% of votes counted.

Oklahoma voters have approved a measure, State Question 788, that legalizes the cultivation, use and possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Nearly 57% of voters supported the measure, with all votes counted according to Ballotpedia. State law already had allowed the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oils for medical purposes.

In North Dakota, voters split 50-50 on Measure 3 that would have legalized marijuana for recreational use, according to Ballotpedia, which also reported that 100% of votes in the state have been counted. North Dakota passed a measure approving medicinal use of marijuana in 2016 but has yet to implement it.