Marijuana Wins Big on Election Night
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Marijuana Wins Big on Election Night
Posted by CN Staff on November 08, 2016 at 20:50:53 PT
By Christopher Ingraham
Source: Washington Post
USA -- Voters in at least three states have approved marijuana reform measures on the ballot this election day. The big prize for legalization proponents is California, which the AP called at 11:15 Eastern time, citing exit polls and preliminary vote counts.By decisive margins, voters in Florida and North Dakota also approved medical marijuana proposals. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press has declared that Florida's Amendment 2 has passed with 71 percent support. In North Dakota, the AP reports that 64 percent of voters currently approve of the medical marijuana measure with 71 percent of precincts reporting.
They are the first in a string of state measures on ballots Tuesday aimed at legalizing medical or recreational use.California has long been seen as a bellwether by both supporters and opponents of marijuana reform. The state is home to about 12 percent of the U.S. population. Given the size of the state's economy and the economic impact of the marijuana industry there, California's adoption of legal marijuana could prompt federal authorities to rethink their decades-long prohibition on the use of marijuana for any purposes.In a recent interview with Bill Maher, President Barack Obama said that legalization in California could make the current federal approach to the drug "untenable."Two years ago a medical marijuana measure in Florida earned 58 percent of the vote, just shy of the 60 percent threshold needed for passage. Then, as now, opposition to the measure was fueled by multi-million dollar donations from Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate and GOP donor. In 2014 Adelson spent $5.5 million to defeat the measure. This year he's spent $1.5 million in Florida, and several million more to defeat recreational marijuana measures in other states."This is a major tipping point," said Tom Angell of the marijuana reform group Marijuana Majority in a statement. "With Florida's decision, a majority of states in the U.S. now have laws allowing patients to find relief with medical marijuana, and these protections and programs are no longer concentrated in certain regions of the country like the West and Northeast."The victory in North Dakota is something of a surprise as no polling was done on the measure.This year's Florida measure is similar to the 2014 proposal, with the addition of several provisions backers say are designed to allay concerns that arose in the 2014 contest. Those provisions include requirements for parental consent for underage medical marijuana patients and clarification of the illnesses that qualify for treatment with marijuana.Still, the Florida amendment has the potential to be one of the more permissive medical marijuana regimes in the nation. In addition to diseases like HIV, cancer and PTSD, the measure also allows doctors to recommend medical pot for "other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated, and for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient." While the 2014 measure allowed doctors to prescribe marijuana for any illness they believed it would be useful for, the new measure requires they show the illness is severe -- though the wording gives physicians considerable leeway in determining which conditions would meet those criteria.The medical pot measure in North Dakota allows doctors to recommend the drug for a number of severe medical conditions.With the passage of Amendment 2, Florida will become the first southern state to enact a robust medical marijuana regime. Medical marijuana is already legal in 25 other states and the District."Better late than never," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the drug reform group Drug Policy Alliance, in a statement. "Most states outside the South already have legal medical marijuana, but the overwhelming victory today in Florida is likely to accelerate the momentum for reform throughout the region."Arkansas is also voting on medical marijuana today. Voters in Montana are considering whether to loosen restrictions on the medical use of marijuana in that state.Voters in five other states -- Massachusetts, Maine, California, Nevada and Arizona -- are also considering whether to legalize recreational marijuana today.The Post will continue to update this story with results from those states as they come in.Source: Washington Post (DC)Author:  Christopher IngrahamPublished: November 8, 2016Copyright: 2016 Washington Post CompanyContact: letters Website: URL: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on November 08, 2016 at 22:43:55 PT
victory in Boston
Mass. started slowly but we're going to end up with 53-53% victory! Unfortunately Maine is on life support at this hour.
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on November 08, 2016 at 20:59:34 PT
CA legal Marijuana finally!
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