Next month Americans will head to the polls to choose new governors, members of congress and other state politicians. But there's something else that will be joining the candidates on the ballot: marijuana.
There are currently seven states with marijuana-related initiatives this November. Here's a rundown of them all:
Colorado: Hemp Definition
This is a confusing one. Hemp farming is currently legal in Colorado's constitution thanks to the 2012 ballot initiative that legalized recreational marijuana. However, it limits hemp production to 0.3 percent THC. But many believe Congress will legalize hemp production in the coming months, and they may have a higher THC limit than the one in Colorado. So Colorado voters will decide whether to keep hemp as a Constitutional definition, meaning it would require an amendment to the constitution to change the THC limit, or make it a statutory definition, which would allow state lawmakers to change the THC limit if Congress decides to allow hemp farming at more than 0.3 percent THC. Basically, this ballot initiative would just ensure Colorado can continue to be competitive in the nation's hemp farming.
Michigan: Recreational Marijuana
As we've covered many times before, Michigan will vote on whether or not to legalize recreational marijuana next month. Most polls suggest it will pass, but people still need to go to the polls to ensure it happens.
North Dakota: Recreational Marijuana
Slightly overshadowed by Michigan, but North Dakota will also vote on recreational marijuana next month. Polls currently project that the initiative will fail, but it's still pretty close and there's definitely hope that it will pass.
Missouri: Medical Marijuana
So Missouri actually has three different medical marijuana initiatives. One would amend the state constitution to allow medical cannabis sales with only a four percent tax, one would do the same with a 15 percent tax, and the third would simply change the law to allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana. We'd suggest voting for all three, because who knows which will be the one that people end up supporting.
Utah: Medical Marijuana
Utah is also voting on a medical marijuana ballot initiative, and most polls suggest it will pass. However, pro-marijuana anti-marijuana groups as well as state lawmakers are working on a compromise bill to legalize medical marijuana as well. It's not quite clear what would happen to this bill if the ballot initiative ends up passing.
Ohio: Marijuana Decriminalization
Six cities in Ohio (Dayton, Fremont, Garrettsville, Norwood, Oregon and Windham) will vote on whether or not to decriminalize marijuana. State law would still require harsher penalties, but if local authorities abide by city law, then these cities would have the lowest possible penalties for these crimes.
Wisconsin: Marijuana Advisory Question
Voters in 16 counties in Wisconsin will vote on a marijuana related ballot question that will have no influence on the law. Some counties will ask voters whether they support legalizing medical marijuana, while others will be asked about legalizing recreational marijuana, and some will be asked both. However, no laws will be changed by these votes. It will simply inform Wisconsin lawmakers of the feelings and opinions of their constituents, and hopefully put pressure on them to change the law.