In this guide you will learn
The 2018 elections are upon us, and across the United States, voters are going to the polls to make key decisions. As Taylor Swift said on social media, “it’s important that we vote based on who most closely represents your values” and at I Love Growing Marijuana our values are quite clear. We are 100% pro-marijuana.
Oklahoma and Vermont already got a head start by legalizing medical marijuana and recreational marijuana earlier this year, and we missed adult-use legalization by a narrow vote in Delaware, but there are more to go – nineteen to be precise. So, here are some of the key issues and candidates to be concerned about this election year, listed by state.
If you’re registered to vote in one of these states, you know what to do. If not, talk to someone that is and encourage them to join the push to legalize marijuana in America.
States Voting on Marijuana
The Great Lake state is no stranger to marijuana legislation. In fact, in 2008 it became the 13th state to legalize medical marijuana. Now Michigan may be the first Midwest state to legalize adult use marijuana depending on November’s vote. Michigan is also proposing the regulation of marijuana businesses and the formation of an industrial hemp industry. Since Canada legalized, and Michigan is a popular entry point, the state is in the unique situation of keeping legal marijuana traffic out of the state. Visit Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol for more information.
On the left side of the country, Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho have been the strongholds of resistance against marijuana legalization. Although Utah and Wyoming recently allowed the use of CBD, Idaho still has some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country. In fact, it currently is in the bottom three. Why is this relevant to Utah? Idaho is Utah’s southern neighbor, whereas Colorado is its eastern neighbor. The pressure has always been on Utah, and if they manage to legalize medical marijuana, the pressure will soon shift to Idaho and Wyoming. If approved, Utah Patient’s Coalition’s Proposition 2 will allow state-sponsored dispensaries.
Missouri took some steps toward legalization in 2014 by approving CBD oil for certain conditions, but many patients and healthcare professionals say it’s not enough. So, this year there are three initiatives for voters to decide on concerning medical marijuana. Proposition C was proposed by Missourians for Patient Care, it includes a 2% tax on medical marijuana with proceeds going into a ‘general’ fund. Amendment 3 was introduced by a physician, and it includes a 15% tax with the money going to medical research. Finally, there’s Amendment 2 (New Approach Missouri). It is supported by NORML and MPP, has a 4% tax and sets aside the money for veterans.
Note: Amendment 2 is the only proposed legislation that allows home growing. C’mon Missouri, show me the cannabis.
You don’t hear much about the Roughrider state, but it is not one to be ignored. It’s stuck in the middle of contradictory marijuana rules. The state borders recently legalized Canada to the North, the ultra-restrictive South Dakota to the South and is surrounded by medical marijuana states. It recently legalized medical marijuana, but many residents thought that it wasn’t enough.
This year, grassroots activists managed to add Proposition 3 to the November ballot, which would legalize adult use. In addition to recreational marijuana, the proposition also asks for expungement of marijuana-related charges within 30 days. If passed, North Dakota could become the first in its area to legalize adult-use marijuana. Learn more at Legalize ND.
Local Governments Voting on Marijuana
Wisconsin legalized CBD use in 2014 and legalized hemp farming in 2017, but when compared to other Canada border states (well, sort of), it still maintains some of the strictest laws. It has the unique honor of joining Idaho as the only other Northern border state to not legalize medical marijuana or decriminalize. Luckily, some municipalities want to change that as nearly half the state will be able to vote on marijuana in November. The issues vary. Some areas are considering the use of medical marijuana, while others are considering decriminalization. Some places, such as the city of Milwaukee are proposing adult-use and regulation. If you live in Wisconsin, go here to see if your county is included and find out which questions you should look out for.
Ohio has an interesting history with marijuana. It legalized medical marijuana in 2016 and decriminalized it in 1975, but arrest continue to be made, and activists are becoming vocal about it. As a result, some municipalities have proposed depenalization measures, which go beyond removing jail time and additionally remove penalties of any type. Depenalization has already been passed in six Ohio cities, and this year, Dayton, Fremont, Garrettsville, Norwood, Oregon, and Windham may be added to that list. But that’s not all that is going on with Ohio. Rumor has it, the state may propose adult-use legalization in 2019.
States with Candidates Supporting Legalization
Maryland proposed adult-use marijuana in 2017, but the bill, unfortunately, did not pass. However, this year’s governor’s race may change the fate of legal weed in the mid-Atlantic state. Since legalization in Maryland will likely be decided by legislators instead of the people, it is crucial to elect politicians that support it. Not sure which candidates support adult-use weed? The lobbying group, Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) endorses democratic candidate Ben Jealous for governor, and have released a voter’s guide for Maryland marijuana supporters.
New Hampshire was supposed to legalize adult-use marijuana – at least the state said it would consider it back in January. However, that has not happened. This year the state took no action even though most New Hampshire residents support it. With so many of the surrounding states legalizing adult-use marijuana, the pressure is on lawmakers to do the same. This election, many Granite state candidates have taken a stance on marijuana legalization. Find out who is most likely to push legalization through with this voter’s guide.
States Where Legislators Could Legalize Marijuana In 2019
Lawmakers will decide whether the Constitution State will update their constitution to include recreational marijuana, but this year, voters will decide who those lawmakers are. Currently, Connecticut borders the newly legal state of Massachusetts leading many to wonder if they too can enjoy adult-use marijuana. Visit Regulate Connecticut to learn more about legalization efforts in this state.
There’s also Illinois, Kentucky, and South Carolina, which many expect will be legal in 2019. Illinois is currently considering adult-use marijuana, while Kentucky and South Carolina are considering medical marijuana. Kentucky and South Carolina currently permit CBD use.
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Federal Candidates that Support Legalization
With so many states legalizing marijuana, the next step is doing so on the federal level. These candidates support decriminalization and legalization on the federal level.
- Alaska: Don Young (R) – House of Representatives
- California: Ro Khanna (D) – House of Representatives
- California: Barbara Lee (D) – House of Representative
- California: Ted Lieu (D) – House of Representatives
- Hawaii: Tulsi Gabbard (D) – House of Representatives
- Michigan: Justin Amash (R) – House of Representatives
- New York: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) – House of Representatives
- North Carolina: Walter Jones (R) – House of Representatives
- Ohio: Dave Joyce (R) – House of Representative
- Oregon: Earl Blumenauer (D) – House of Representatives
- Pennsylvania: Dwight Evans (D) – House of Representatives
- Tennessee: Steve Cohen (D) – House of Representatives
- Texas: Beto O’Rourke (D) – Senate
- Vermont: Bernie Sanders (I) – Senate
- Virginia: Scott Taylor (R) – House of Representatives
Regardless of where you live, if you’re a registered US voter, it’s essential to let lawmakers know that you are tired of marijuana prohibition. Even if there aren’t any measures on your ballot or your state is already legal, until everyone can grow marijuana without the worry of arrest we have a long way to go.
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]