Recreational pot passed in MI

Both states passed amendments that legalize marijuana for people with qualifying illnesses, bringing the total count in the United States to 30 states. "With such overwhelming public support for marijuana legalization, even including majorities of Republicans and older Americans, there's only so long that the federal government can continue to hold out". It managed to garner only 40.5 percent of the vote. The measure would have legalized recreational cannabis for those 21 and over.

Utah's medical marijuana legalization measure, which would allow privately owned dispensaries to sell cannabis, saw support drop in polls after state lawmakers said they had reached a compromise plan to instead allow patients to obtain cannabis from county health departments or a handful of state-approved pharmacies.

In Utah, the ballots included Proposition 2, the Medical Marijuana Initiative.

In Michigan, passage of Proposal 1 would legalize marijuana use and possession for adults 21 while paving the way for the state to set up a system for taxing and regulating retail sales. A ballot measure to legalize recreational use of cannabis in North Dakota failed. Prop 2 had 53.2 percent of the votes, with 76 percent of precincts reporting. At a victory party, Christine Stenquist, founder of the advocacy group TRUCE Utah, predicted that the conservative state's decision would influence other states debating legalization. "Yet they will pass them to send a message to cannabis advocates".

Long demonized as a risky drug, and still considered an illicit substance with no medical use by the federal government, marijuana is increasingly going mainstream as investors pour billions into the industry. The most straightforward approach I've seen is the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act, a one-sentence bill sponsored by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) that makes the federal marijuana ban inapplicable to anyone acting in compliance with state law.

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But wait, there's more.

In Ohio, six cities had local cannabis decriminalization measures, with five voting in favor of decriminalization.

Democratic gubernatorial candidates embracing marijuana legalization (and broader drug reform), including Gavin Newsom (CA), Jared Polis (CO), J.B. Pritzker (IL), and Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM), all emerged victorious.

A minimum wage increase was approved in two states. Sessions was defeated by Democrat Colin Allred, a medical marijuana supporter who has criticized Sessions' anti-pot prejudices.

Emblematic of this shift was the defeat of House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas), an unreconstructed drug warrior whom Kampia calls "the sphincter who has constipated all marijuana bills and amendments in the House in recent years". But his time has come and gone. Smith is now a senior writing fellow at the Independent Media Institute.

  • Darren Santiago