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  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    We've said it before and we'll say it again: 2016 is set to be a monumental year for marijuana law reform. There are currently 13 pending ballot initiatives to either legalize adult marijuana use or to legalize the use of medical marijuana for qualifying medical conditions. Ten of these have now qualified for the November 2016 electoral ballot. The country could double the number of states that allow the recreational use of marijuana and could potentially expand the therapeutic benefits of marijuana use to millions of Americans come November.

    Find below a summary of each of these pending initiatives, links to the campaign websites and to the initiative texts so you can be an informed voter this November.


    Arizona

    Name: Arizona Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act
    Ballot Number: Proposition 205
    Proponents: The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (Marijuana Policy Project)
    Website: Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol • Initiative Language
    Summary: The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act allows adults twenty-one years of age and older to possess and to privately consume and grow limited amounts of marijuana (up to one ounce of marijuana flower, up to five grams of marijuana concentrate, and/or the harvest from up to six plants); it creates a system in which licensed businesses can produce and sell marijuana; establishes a Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control to regulate the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, transportation, and sale of marijuana; and provides local governments with the authority to regulate and limit marijuana businesses. The Supreme Court has rejected a lawsuit that sought to prohibit the measure from going before voters.




    Arkansas

    Name: The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act
    Ballot Number: Issue 7
    Proponents: Arkansans for Compassionate Care
    Website: The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act • Initiative Language
    Summary: The 2016 Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act establishes a statewide program for the licensed production, analytic testing, and distribution of medicinal cannabis. Under the program, patients diagnosed by a physician with one of over 50 qualifying conditions may obtain cannabis from one of up to 38 licensed non-profit care centers. Qualified patients who do not have a center operating in their vicinity will be permitted to obtain a 'hardship certificate' in order to cultivate their own medicine at home. 2016 polling compiled by Public Opinion Strategies finds that 68 percent of voters explicitly support the language of the Act. Presently, opponents of the measure are asking the state Supreme Court to block the measure. A competing, slightly more narrow medical cannabis measure, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, has also qualified for the ballot as Issue 6. The measure does not permit home cultivation of marijuana and also provides fewer qualifying conditions for which cannabis therapy may be recommended. A summary of the constitutional amendment is here.


    California

    Name: Adult Use of Marijuana Act
    Ballot Number: Proposition 64
    Proponents: Let's Get It Right CA
    Website: Yes on Prop 64 • Initiative Language
    Summary: Passage of the measure would permit adults to legally grow (up to six plants) and possess personal use quantities of cannabis (up to one ounce of flower and/or up to eight grams of concentrate) while also licensing commercial cannabis production and retail sales. The measure prohibits localities from taking actions to infringe upon adults' ability to possess and cultivate cannabis for non-commercial purposes. The initiative language specifies that it is not intended to "repeal, affect, restrict, or preempt … laws pertaining to the Compassionate Use Act of 1996." The AUMA is endorsed by the ACLU of California, the California Democratic Party, the California Medical Association, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the California NAACP, the Drug Policy Alliance, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and NORML. Seventy-one percent of likely California voters say that they are leaning toward voting 'yes' on Proposition 64, according to a September 2016 California Counts Survey.


    Florida

    Name: Use of Marijuana For Debilitating Conditions
    Ballot Number: Amendment 2
    Proponents: United For Care
    Website: United For Care • Initiative Language
    Summary: Passage of the amendment would permit qualified patients to possess and obtain cannabis from state-licensed facilities. According to a recent statewide poll, 70 percent of Florida voters say that they support the passage of the amendment. According to Florida law, 60 percent of voters must approve a constitutional amendment in order for it to become law. In November 2014, Floridians narrowly rejected a similar amendment, which received 58 percent of the vote.


    Maine

    Name: Marijuana Legalization Act
    Ballot Number: Question 1
    Proponents: Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol
    Website: Regulate Maine • Initiative Language
    Summary: If enacted by voters in November, the measure would allow adults to legally possess up to two and one-half ounces of marijuana and to cultivate marijuana (up to six mature plants and the entire yields of said plants) for their own personal use. The measure would also establish licensing for the commercial production and retail sale of cannabis. Retail sales of cannabis would be subject to a ten percent sales tax. Non-commercial transactions and/or retail sales involving medical cannabis would not be subject to taxation.


    Massachusetts

    Name: The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act
    Ballot Number: Question 4
    Proponents: The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Massachusetts
    Website: Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol • Initiative Language
    Summary: The initiative allows adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana outside of their residences and up to 10 ounces of marijuana in an enclosed, locked space within their residences, which mimics the current in-residence allowance established by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for medical marijuana patients. It allows adults 21 years of age and older to grow up to six marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked space within their residences and possess the marijuana produced by those plants in the location where it was grown.


    Michigan

    Name: Michigan Marihuana Legalization, Regulation and Economic Stimulus Act
    Ballot Number: N/A — The state Supreme Court has denied an appeal by Campaigners regarding the validity of their signatures and the imposition of newly enacted rules limiting the time during which signatures may be collected. Proponents are considering an appeal. Read more »
    Proponents: MI Legalize
    Website: MI Legalize • Initiative Language
    Summary: The initiative allows adults 21 years of age and older to possess and cultivate marijuana (up to 12 plants). It establishes licensing for the commercial production and retail sale of cannabis. Retail sales of cannabis would be subject to a ten percent excise tax. Non-commercial transactions and/or retail sales involving medical cannabis would not be subject to taxation.


    Missouri

    Name: New Approach Missouri
    Ballot Number: N/A — Campaigners are litigating to ask the courts to review signature totals in the state's second Congressional district.
    Proponents: New Approach Missouri
    Website: New Approach Missouri • Initiative Language
    Summary:The initiative creates a statewide system for production and sale of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products. It also provides for limited and regulated patient cultivation. The initiative levies a four percent retail tax, and all revenue in excess of the cost of regulating the medical cannabis program will go to help Missouri's veterans. The initiative maintains the current prohibition on public use and driving under the influence. It also allows the Department of Health and Senior Services to institute a seed-to-sale tracking system to ensure that the product and money do not reach the illicit market. The initiative puts the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services in charge of licensing and implementation, but also allows the department to contract with other state agencies when necessary for effective and efficient regulation. Sixty-two percent of registered voters voice support for the measure, according to survey data compiled by Public Policy Polling.


    Montana

    Name: Montana Medical Marijuana Initiative
    Ballot Number: I-182
    Proponents: Montana Citizens for I-182
    Website: Yes On I-182 • Initiative Language
    Summary: I-182 repeals the limit of three patients for each licensed provider, and allows providers to hire employees to cultivate, dispense, and transport medical marijuana. I-182 repeals the requirement that physicians who provide certifications for 25 or more patients annually be referred to the board of medical examiners. I-182 removes the authority of law enforcement to conduct unannounced inspections of medical marijuana facilities, and requires annual inspections by the state.


    Nevada

    Name: Nevada Marijuana Legalization Initiative
    Ballot Number: Question 2
    Proponents: Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Nevada
    Website: Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol • Initiative Language
    Summary: The ballot language permits adults to possess and grow personal use quantities of cannabis (up to one ounce and/or six plants) for non-commercial purposes. The measure also regulates and taxes the commercial production and retail sale of cannabis. It states, "The People of the State of Nevada find and declare that the use of marijuana should be legal for persons 21 years of age or older, and its cultivation and sale should be regulated similar to other businesses."


    North Dakota

    Name: The North Dakota Compassionate Care Act 2016
    Ballot Number: N/A
    Proponents: North Dakota Compassionate Care
    Website: North Dakota Compassionate Care • Initiative Language
    Summary: The North Dakota Compassionate Care 2016 act permits patients with an eligible debilitating condition to possess and obtain marijuana (up to three ounces) and marijuana-specific preparations under a doctor's written certification. The measure also establishes a statewide regulatory system for the creation of licensed 'compassionate care centers.' Patients (or their caregivers) who do not live in close proximity to such centers may cultivate up to eight marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked facility.


    Oklahoma

    Name: N/A
    Ballot Number: State Question 788 — Although the Secretary of State has certified that initiative proponents have collected sufficient signatures, proponents are now challenging the attorney general's rewording of the ballot title. The legal challenge could force the issue to be decided in a special election after November 8. Read more »
    Proponents: Oklahomans for Health
    Website: Oklahomans for Health • Initiative Language
    Summary: The Act establishes a state-licensing system to permit eligible patients to possess and cultivate personal use quantities of cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Those who do not possess such a license face civil fines but not criminal penalties. The Act also establishes a state regulated system for growing and dispensing medical cannabis. Taxes are imposed on marijuana sales.


    NORML/Sept. 2016
    http://norml.org/act/ballot-proposals
    Illustration: Maggie Vandeveer,cwt
    Newshawk Crew

    About Author

    Beenthere2Hippie
    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.

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