It will come as no surprise that the legalization of marijuana is a hot topic at the moment. It seems that there is constantly an issue on a ballot somewhere in the country. It is easy to lose track of the results as they come in. To help you stay up to speed on the state of the industry and what has happened where, here is a recap of the recent news.
Marijuana is now legal for medical use in more than 50% of the states in this country. Twenty-eight states have legalized marijuana for medical use. Eight states plus our very own capital, Washington DC, have legalized marijuana for recreational use.
Just recently, a multitude of states passed initiatives allowing the use of medical or recreational marijuana.
California had previously voted on and passed a measure to allow marijuana for medical use. Today, if you are a citizen of the state of California, you can also smoke recreationally. Individuals, age 21 and up, may possess up to one ounce of marijuana and six at home plants for personal consumption.
Maine passed Question 1 on their ballot this November. In Maine, recreational marijuana is now allowed under state law. Any individual can have up to 2.5 ounces as well as six flowering at-home plants and 12 at-home non-flowering plants for personal use.
Massachusetts voters gave a majority “YES” answer to Question 4 this election season. This allows citizens of the state to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and six at-home plants for their personal use.
Nevada voters said yes to recreational marijuana. Some people have found it very surprising that marijuana legalization has taken such a long time in Nevada, considering that Las Vegas is in this state. Individuals here can possess one ounce. Also, if you live more than 25 miles from a dispensary, you can grow up to six plants at home. Do we hear moving trucks?
Arizona’s Proposition 205 was not passed this election season. The initiative hoped to legalize marijuana for recreational use. In this case, tax money would have contributed to funding schools. Unfortunately, the schools will need to wait.
Medical Marijuana was finally legalized in Arkansas on Election Day.
Members of the Sunshine State suffering from pain will now be able to seek relief thanks to an initiative that was passed on Election Day.
People in North Dakota will now have an opportunity to use marijuana to negate the effects of cold on pain. Medical marijuana is now legal in the state of North Dakota.
Montana voters stood up on Election Day this year and said yes to the legalization of marijuana. Patients suffering from a multitude of conditions will now be able to feel relief.
When a state legalizes marijuana, whether for recreational or medicinal purposes, a slew of other benefits naturally occur.
- History has shown that people are going to buy marijuana whether it is legal or not. One of the major benefits of legalizing marijuana is that the government can tax it. Tax on marijuana will mean more money for neighborhoods and schools.
- Another advantage legalization is that it will alleviate the overcrowding of jails. It allows decent, hardworking people to live their lives without fearing jail time for smoking or using cannabis.
- When it is being sold legally, dispensaries open. Dispensaries create jobs. Jobs help the economy.
- Some would say that relieving people who are suffering from pain, disease and illness is the greatest advantage of legalized marijuana. They might also ask why it is taking so long for this country to get past the stigma – both at a federal level and as a populace.
Recent elections have demonstrated that we are taking positive steps. We are halfway there. If you consider yourself an activist, now is not the time to take a break. You can still help to push for wider marijuana legalization so that everyone in the country has the freedom of choice and the chance to reap the benefits of cannabis.
If your state has not voted yet on the matter, or if you have voted and the measure failed, keep working. You can share the facts about legalized marijuana, both medical and recreational, and correct those who are spreading rumors and ignorance.
Ignorance is a major reason for people voting against legalization of marijuana. Stay up to date with all the relevant cannabis news, feel free to gently educate those around you, and please make sure that you vote on this issue whenever you have the chance.