MI voters to decide on recreational marijuana, anti-gerrymandering, voting options

Brian Acker

MI just joined nine other states, the District of Columbia, and Canada in legalizing recreational marijuana.

"Western and Northeastern states have led the way on legalizing marijuana, but the victory in MI powerfully demonstrates the national reach of this movement", Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a press release.

Proposals legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes are pending in Missouri and Utah, meanwhile, where their passage would increase the number of states that permit medical cannabis from 31.

At present, recreational marijuana use is legal in nine states, as well as Washington, D.C. The drug is still banned at the federal level. Mr. Sessions ended that practice in January, however, and Tuesday's midterms mark the first time states will vote on legalizing marijuana on the heels of his policy change.

MI now joins nine other states that have legalized marijuana for all uses: Washington, Colorado, California, Oregon, Alaska, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada and Vermont.

The state will collect a 10 percent excise tax on marijuana sales, with revenue split between education, infrastructure, and municipalities that have approved marijuana businesses. The licensing authority is required to start accepting applications from would-be marijuana merchants with a year of that date, meaning that legal sales might begin sometime in 2020.

In Missouri, voters will be asked to chose between three separate proposals legalizing medical marijuana to varying degrees.

Utah voters also chose to legalize medical use of marijuana for people with qualifying illnesses, with about 56 per cent in favour and almost half of the state's polls reporting.

The Justice Department did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

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