The need for weed: Four states voting on pot this election

Marijuana legalization is on the ballot in four states today: Alaska, Oregon, Florida and Maine. The acceptance of having pot as part of the political conversation has made major progress since the previous voting period, and these regions will potentially change the stigma behind the conversation even more. Alaska: Ballot Measure 2 would legalize the […]

Marijuana legalization is on the ballot in four states today: Alaska, Oregon, Florida and Maine.

The acceptance of having pot as part of the political conversation has made major progress since the previous voting period, and these regions will potentially change the stigma behind the conversation even more.

Alaska: Ballot Measure 2 would legalize the retail purchase and use of pot for those over the age of 21, much like Colorado. But it looks like it’s going to be hit or miss in terms of passing.  Two recent polls show the coin-flip stats. One found that 57% of respondents support the measure, compared to 39% who oppose; another found that 53% of Alaskans would vote no on the measure, compared to 43% who said they would vote yes.

Oregon: Measure 91 could make the difference for legalization here, and although the state has been down this path before, it’s still not a sure thing. “The young and young at heart are going to be important for us to pass this measure,” says Brad Reed, a spokesman for the Yes on Measure 91 campaign. “What’s clear from all of the polls is that it’s going to be a very close race.”

Florida: Medical marijuana could potentially be prescribed in the state. This is different than the ballot decisions in Alaska and Oregon today, but it would make Florida the 24th state to pass medical marijuana laws with Amendment 21. Because this is a constitutional law, it must reach a 60% supermajority to pass, and survey numbers show this actually unlikely to happen. We’ll see.

Maine: This city of Portland has already legalized recreational marijuana ownership, meaning you can’t be prosecuted for having more than 2.5 oz. (even though it can’t legally be sold and purchased). Now Lewiston and South Portland have jumped on board for the same type of legalization on the ballot.

We’ll see what happens after today, but those with medical needs who could use the drug (along with a healthy dose of stoners) will likely be anxious to see the results.