Election Tuesday changed America from Democratic to Republican, but it did little to slow the push for marijuana legalization. Before America knew the results of the presidential election, one thing was clear. Marijuana had won.
Twelve hours after polls closed, the country gained three more medical marijuana states and three more recreational states. Four states approved home growing. America just got closer to nationwide legalization.
Check this infographic for current marijuana laws in all states
Florida: The first of its kind
Florida became the first Southern state to truly legalize medical marijuana. It voted by 71% (92%reporting) to allow medical marijuana for ten specific diseases. Florida is technically not the first to approve marijuana – Mississippi decriminalized and approved medical CBD.
However, it is the first to discuss ways for patients to obtain it legally by creating ‘marijuana centers’ (dispensaries). It also allowed more conditions than before by adding PTSD to its list of approved diseases.
Florida previously had a marijuana proposal, but it failed. One problem was that it limited it to low THC varieties and did not give doctors permission to recommend it. Under the 2014 proposition, doctors who prescribed it as a therapy could lose their medical license.
The law that has passed gives doctors permission to recommend marijuana and encourages communication between patient and medical provider. Although Florida had to wait an extra two year to win the polls, the results show it was worth the wait.
Read more about growing marijuana in Florida
Maine: Too close to call
With nearly a million votes reported and 800,000 to go, it was still too close to call early Wednesday morning. Most of southern Maine was quick to report yes, while the northern parts of the state said no.
For hours, the polls went from 50-50 to 49-51. Is Maine ready for recreational marijuana?
If approved, Maine would increase its laws to allow growing, possessing, selling and testing of marijuana by any adult 21 years or older.
This means, more people in Maine could have access to marijuana than ever before without worrying about the cops asking to see a doctor’s note.
UPDATE: Approved! Grow up to 6 plants at home! Read more about growing marijuana in Maine
Massachusetts Starts Another Revolution
Like Florida, Massachusetts is an important win for marijuana legalization. It is now the only recreational state in the middle of four medical states (New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont).
Massachusetts now allows the sales and purchase of marijuana by any adults aged 21 and older as well as the home grow of up to six plants!
Massachusetts is not the first Northeast state to legalize marijuana for all adults. Washington DC did it in 2014, but they didn’t approve the distribution of marijuana. So, it may be legal to smoke marijuana in Washington DC, but only if you grew it yourself.
With Massachusetts being the first state in the region to legalize retail marijuana, DC adults now have easy access to legal marijuana. There’s also the likely thousands of marijuana users in the surrounding four states that will appreciate this vote.
Read more about growing marijuana in Massachusetts
A Slight Win in Arkansas
Conservative Arkansas became the 26th state to legalize medical marijuana, officially tipping the scales in favor of marijuana in the nation. Two things helped tip the scale in Arkansas. First, it was the many testimonies of patients successfully treated by marijuana.
People started to see marijuana in a new light. Then, Congress approved an anti-raid act for medical patients, which basically gave states permission to legalize medical marijuana without worry.
Arkansas’s medical marijuana law wasn’t a complete win. Medical marijuana advocates supported a more lenient bill that would have approved a greater number of conditions and allowed home growing.
The law that passed restricts growing to dispensaries and ‘cultivation agents’. Medical users from other states can produce a prescription and receive medicine in Arkansas.
Read more about growing marijuana in Arkansas
Montana: More Access to Patients
Montana has been a legal for medical use for years- twelve to be exact. However, the current rules are so restrictive that it is difficult for both patients and doctors. Combined with an outdated list of treatable conditions, Montana’s laws needed a major update.
The new law adds chronic pain and post-traumatic stress to the list of approved conditions. It also makes obtaining marijuana easier. Providers can have more than three patients, and doctors could prescribe to more than twenty-five patients.
Read more about growing marijuana in Montana
North Dakota: A Prairie State Welcomes Marijuana
North Dakota sits between two medical states – Montana and Minnesota. It’s not the type of state to legalize marijuana. In fact, it’s probably one of the last states that would be expected to do so. However, growing approval from nearly all sides (to its north is Canada) made North Dakota eventually cave.
The bill’s sponsor summarized why medical marijuana passed in North Dakota with this statement:
“Even though we are a conservative state, I think most of the voters in this state would view this as an alternative to prescription drugs that we know are harmful.”
North Dakota would require a medical card for approved conditions, including chronic pain and PTSD. It allows home growing for those more than 40 miles from a dispensary. Make sure to download my free marijuana grow bible if you want to grow your own.
Read more about growing marijuana in North Dakota
Nevada: Vegas Will Now Sell Weed
Sin City is already a famous party destination; now it will be a weed destination as well. Nevada residents voted by 54% to pass recreational marijuana. This adds another Western state to the growing number of states selling retail marijuana.
The new law approves up to 106 stores. 80 of those stores will be in the Vegas area, while 20 stores will be in Reno.
Nevada also allows home growing for anyone 21 and older – if they have a lock on their grow room or box. So make sure to download my free marijuana grow bible if you want to grow your own.
Read more about growing marijuana in Nevada
Arizona Says No to Retail Weed
Arizona approved medical marijuana in 2010. It was on its way to approving recreational marijuana but missed it in a close race. The Arizona bill allowed home growing.
Opponents of the bill expressed concerns about safe roads, children getting their hands onto edibles, and a monopoly on marijuana.
While Arizona still allows the medical use of marijuana, access to it is difficult. Only those living more than 25 miles from a dispensary can grow marijuana.
Read more about growing marijuana in Arizona
California Says Yes to Home Growing
The state that started it all has finally approved recreational marijuana. California adopted the legal use of marijuana for adults aged 21 and older.
Their bill legalizes possession of up to 28.5 grams of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrate. Individuals can also grow in their home if they have a locked grow area.
So make sure to download my free marijuana grow bible if you want to grow your own.
California has been marijuana friendly for years. The law is mainly concerned about large companies impacting marijuana in the state. To address this, the law says that for the next five years, large-scale businesses will not be allowed in California.
Read more about growing marijuana in California
Marijuana legislation can be complicated, but Jenny Bloom is always up for the task. Although not a lawyer, her experience as a reporter and PR specialist helps her understand legalese – especially when it relates to growing marijuana. A passionate supporter of legalization and home... [read more]