Michigan has become the 10th state to legalize marijuana for all adults. Utah and Missouri said “Yes!” to medical marijuana and the House flips to the Democrats.
Cannabis is one of the big winners during these Midterm Elections. Recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan. Also, citizens of Utah and Missouri said yes to medicinal marijuana. Furthermore, the Democrats are a majority in the House. This means a federal cannabis law has a bigger chance of passing. It’s a good day for marijuana legalization.
Let’s start with the good news.
Michigan goes green
Michigan citizens voted in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana for adults. It’s the 10th state to legalize cannabis. Proposal 1 passed with 57% of the votes. What follows is a full legal and regulated system of cultivation and sales of marijuana.
Proposal 1 will allow adults (21 and over) to use, posses and grow marijuana. Also, the state will give license to private dispensaries to grow, process and sell it as well.
Steve Hawkins, executive director of Marijuana Policy Project, told Forbes:“Marijuana is now legal for adult use in one out of every five states and medical use in three out of every five, so it is safe to say federal law is in need of an update.”
This measure is set to take effect during next month.
Also, Gretchen Whitmer (Democrat) has defeated Bill Schuette (Republican) in the race for Governor. Whitmer is in favor of adult-use marijuana and a firm supporter of Proposal 1.
In conclusion, Christmas has come early to the Great Lake State.
Utah and Missouri legalize medicinal marijuana
Utah’s Proposition 2
On November 6th 2018, Utah said yes to medical marijuana. Proposition 2 had a 54.1%-49.5% lead. Those in favor and against the measure will come together during next month to prepare a new bill.
“The governor would convene a special session of the legislature immediately after the election to craft a more limited medical marijuana bill, regardless of the ballot item’s outcome”. Wrote Christopher Ingraham, a Washington Post journalist.
Therefore, the medical marijuana system in Utah will be a restricted one. The state only allows 6 dispensaries. Five of them will be private. In the new measure, edibles and flower are not allowed. The only allowed products will be: “capsules, tablets, concentrated oils, tinctures, topicals, sublinguals, chewable or dissolvable pills, skin patches, or, in rare cases, extracts like wax or rosin”, as explained by Leafly. Home grown cultivation is not allowed.
Missouri’s Amendment 2
With 61% of the votes, Missouri citizens legalized medicinal marijuana on Tuesday night. It became the the 32nd state in United States to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. Amendment 2 had more votes than Amendment 3 and Proposition C.
So, when the medical marijuana system is up and running, patients will be able to buy medical cannabis from licensed dispensaries. Although, they will have to present a doctor’s prescription and a state identification card. It is prohibited to sell marijuana without a license.
Consequently, the tax on cannabis will be at 4%, and the veterans of Missouri are the ones destined to benefit from this income.
North Dakota said “No” to recreational marijuana
Measure 3 lost with 59.4% votes against. If it were approved, Measure 3 would’ve legalized recreational marijuana in the State. The measure would’ve removed marijuana from the Schedule I list, and il would’ve allowed adult use and grow of the plant
Pro-cannabis elected Governors
Democrat Jay Robert Pritzker won against Republican Bruce Rauner in the Illinois Governor race. Pritzker won with 54% of the votes. Pritzker campaigned on a platform that included the legalization of adult-use marijuana, as explained by Marijuana Business Daily
Further more, Democrat is Jared Polis is now Colorado’s new Governor. Leading 51% to 45%, Polis defeated Republican candidate Walker Stapleton. Polis, a 43 year old politician, is in favor of marijuana legalization. Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, and Polis was one of the politicians who supported the bill. As said in his official campaign website, “Colorado has proven that allowing responsible adults to marijuana gives money to classrooms, not cartels. Creates jobs, not addicts. And boosts our economy, not our prison population”.
Another victory for the cannabis industry comes from California. The elected Governor of the Golden State is Gavin Newsom. The Democrat candidate supported and contributed to the recreational marijuana legalization in 2016. Newsom will expand and strengthen the cannabis industry in the state.
However, the bad news came from Florida. Democrat and marijuana advocate Andrew Gillum lost with a tight margin the Governor seat against Republican Ron DeSantis.
U.S House Flips to Democrats
As predicted, Democrats won the majority in the U.S House. Democrats now have 219 seats (50.3%), while Republicans have 193 seats (44.4%). Consequently, industry leaders claim this result as a win. Different bills such as the STATES Act are likely to pass.
“The debate over should we legalize is over, and it’s now how should we legalize”, Michael Collins, interim director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, told NBC News.
Pete Sessions and Dana Rohrabacher lost their seat
One of the big wins in marijuana legalization during this midterm elections came from a defeat in Texas 32nd District. Rep. Pete Sessions lost against Democrat and ex-NFL player Colin Allred. Sessions has fought against cannabis legalization, blocking federal cannabis reforms to reach the Congress.
However, Representative Dana Rohrabacher from California’s 48th District, lost his seat to Democrat Harley Rouda in a tight race (50.7% to 49.3%). Rohrabacher has been one of marijuana’s legalization defenders in the House. He was one of the 29 members of the House to support the STATES Act.
In general, marijuana legalization was one of the big winners during this midterm elections. Not only 3 states legalized, but also pro-cannabis Governors in key states, like California and Colorado, were elected. Democrats regaining control of the House will also mean that a federal law, like the STATES Act, is more likely to pass.