Marijuana Legislation 2016: California, Florida Among Record Number Of States Voting On Legalized Weed

Despite the growing trend of acceptance among Americans, the idea of legal marijuana (from a federal perspective) was met with more bad news in the DEA’s recent statement. The Drug Enforcement Administration said they are unlikely to reclassify marijuana — currently a “Schedule 1” narcotic by the DEA’s standards, alongside methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin — even though 25 states and the District of Columbia have already legalized medical marijuana for qualified patients. And while states like Colorado and Oregon have gone so far as to legalize recreational use of pot, the federal government has done little more than promise to do additional research.

While the federal government may be dragging their feet in terms of marijuana legislation, several states continue to take giant steps forward in bringing both medicinal cannabis and recreational weed to their citizens. In fact, as reported by the Washington Times, at least nine states will have marijuana initiatives on their ballots in November, with three more states potentially being added to the list. California is among five states voting to legalize recreational pot, while Florida is among those trying to make medicinal marijuana an option for its residents. Signatures were collected (and the results are still being debated) in such states as Missouri and Oklahoma.

Voting For Recreational Weed: California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Arizona, Maine

By the time voting ends in November, the number of states in the U.S. that have legalized recreational pot could more than double from where things currently stand today. Attempting to join Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and the District of Colombia in letting their residents get high in the privacy on their own homes include California, Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maine, as confirmed by Governing.com.

So far, the states where pot has been legalized for recreational use have had few problems. Marijuana advocates are especially interested in the California vote. The Golden State making the product available for all residents of a legal age could be significant enough to help change attitudes and update laws across the nation.

Voting For Medical Marijuana: Florida, North Dakota, Arkansas

While half of the states in America have already legalized pot to help treat such medical conditions as glaucoma, seizures, and PTSD, patients in the other 25 states are still fighting for their right to use THC as medicine. Three states that will have medicinal marijuana introduced to their ballots in November include Florida, Arkansas, and North Dakota.

In Montana, where medical cannabis has been legal since 2004, marijuana providers and advocates have been fighting off a law for nearly five years that has already had an extremely negative impact on the once-booming medical marijuana industry in Montana. A bill initiative, I-182, will be added to the November ballot to repeal the restrictions put in place by the 2011 law. It would also require additional product testing and add PTSD to the approve list of ailments treatable by prescription pot in Montana, as reported by the Billings Gazette.


RELATED REPORTS BY THE INQUISITR


Gathering Marijuana Signatures: Oklahoma, Missouri, Michigan

Hoping to get a ballot initiative approved for November include the states of Oklahoma, Michigan, and Missouri. Having turned in their signatures last Thursday, the group Oklahomans for Health hope to have reached the 65,897 votes required to get medical marijuana added to the ballot in November. The official count has yet to be released, as noted by KOCO.

California, Florida and many other states vote on Marijuana laws in November
In November, a record number of states will be voting on marijuana legislation, related to both medical marijuana and recreational pot [Photo by Medioimages/Photodisc]

In both Missouri and Michigan, supporters find themselves in a legal battle over their signature submissions. In both cases, submitted signatures were thrown out by the states, causing the initiatives to fall short of the required number. It’s yet unclear whether or not either state will be able to reverse the decision prior to November. Either way, at least nine states will be voting on marijuana legislation in their state elections this November.

[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]