Next week, among numerous other decisions that voters will make about the future direction of local, state, and federal authorities, voters in four states will also have the opportunity to weigh in legalizing medicinal or recreational marijuana. We wanted to give a brief overview and snapshot of the status for each ballot initiative. We’ll look to update this page next week after the election results are in.
- Michigan: It may be too little, too late to stop the momentum toward legalizing recreational marijuana in Michigan. The attack ads are ramping up, but the number of undecideds has diminished considerably in the final weeks before the election. And with the latest poll showing a 17-point lead, it’s looking increasingly likely that the ballot initiative will pass.
- Missouri: This is undoubtedly the most confusing of the four states with marijuana ballot initiatives this year. And that’s because in Missouri, there are three ballot initiatives, including two constitutional amendments and a separate ballot proposition. And so, while at least one if not multiple initiatives are likely to pass, it’s unclear which ones will prevail and this might ultimately impact the implementation of medical marijuana in the state.
- Utah: This might be the most interesting one of all. Arguably, nowhere in the country is there a starker divide between the support for hard-luck medical cases and a broader cultural resistance against recreational marijuana. And then there’s also the influence of the LDS Church which came out against the ballot initiative. While the polls initially seemed to indicate strong support for medical marijuana, the latest polls now make the outcome seem like more of a toss-up.
- North Dakota: The opposite dynamic is playing out in North Dakota in which early polling and a traditionally conservative electoral made recreational marijuana legalization seem far-fetched. More recent polling suggests that independent, libertarian, and younger voters are in support of legalization and poised to come out and vote this election.