POTITCS: 2016 Ballot Initiatives for Marijuana Across the United States


Although the federal government has yet to make a decision on the legality of marijuana for any type of use, there are several states around the nation that may legalize marijuana in 2016 during the general election.

The voters in at least twenty states will see marijuana initiatives on the ballot, which has created a surge in marijuana events and political activity surrounding legalization. As of 2016, there are already 35 states that have legalized marijuana in some form whether for recreational or medical use.

Which States Will See Marijuana Votes?

Some states where the public may vote on ballot measures in November of 2016 include California, Wyoming, Florida, Georgia, and Washington. Also, voters may vote on marijuana in Idaho, Utah, Maine, Massachusetts, South Dakota, and Michigan.

Voters in Mississippi, Oklahoma, Missouri, Ohio, Montana, North Dakota, and New Mexico may also see ballot measures for marijuana when they head to the polls. Proponents must secure enough signatures for each of these initiatives before they will appear on the official election ballots.

States where citizens can already use recreational marijuana include Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Colorado, and Washington, D.C.

Different Initiatives for Different Uses

The type of initiative upon which the electorate will vote depends on the wording and intent of the proposed bill, amendment, or other measure. Some measures may seek to legalize marijuana for medical use.

These initiatives not only ensure people who take marijuana medicinally can continue to do so, but they provide legal protections for medical research.

The field of medical marijuana remains in its infancy, and proponents of legalized marijuana believe legal protections for researchers and doctors will lead to additional discoveries in how marijuana might be used to treat illness or disease.

Other initiatives will have citizens voting on the recreational use of marijuana, which is often a much more contentious subject. One of the areas where people often disagree is on the finer points of recreational use. Questions regarding the appropriate age for marijuana use often come up in discussions with some advocating the age of eighteen and others advocating the age of twenty-one.

Legalization Gains Support Nationwide

The attitude of the average American has changed over the past decade regarding marijuana. Yearly polls conducted by major news outlets and polling companies have seen support for marijuana initiatives increase. The overall acceptance of marijuana for recreational or medicinal use has also increased. Proponents and those seeking ballot measures hope to find success with voters in November.