If your worldview is anything like ours, you might be a little stressed out this morning. The good news is, many more Americans will soon be able to turn to a little greenery to take the edge off that stress. Marijuana ballot measures have performed well nationwide.
As of Wednesday at noon, it looks like only one of the nine marijuana-related measures on the ballot has failed. As we predicted here at the Daily Leaf, Arizona’s Proposition 205 was the only ballot measure to fail, having achieved 48% of votes cast. Maine’s Question 1, which would also legalize recreational use and sale, including social consumption in “weed bars”, is still too close to call. It’s a squeaker: with 98% of ballots counted at the time of this writing, the Yes campaign is ahead by about 3,000 votes with about 15,000 votes remaining to be counted. Should Question 1 pass, we will have predicted this batch of Cannabis ballot measures with 100% accuracy.
Elsewhere, recreational campaigns succeeded in Massachusetts, Nevada, and (the big prize) California. Measures to either institute or expand medical marijuana use passed in Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota. Notably, some of these bills passed in landslides, with Florida’s Amendment 2 capturing 71% of the vote and North Dakota’s Measure 5 receiving 64% of votes, a surprise victory after no polling had been conducted in the race.
Despite this broad victory for marijuana advocates across the country, the legal climate may now return to a period of uncertainty. Although President-Elect Donald Trump has recently indicated that he does not intend to roll back state efforts, his position on the issue has been contradictory in the past. Ultimately, what’s next might depend on Mr. Trump’s choice of Attorney General. With rumors that Rudy Guiliani is being considered for the post, marijuana advocates might have reason to fear. The former New York mayor made a career out of his tough-on-crime reputation.