Leland Rucker is the senior editor at Sensi Magazine and he joins us on Thursday mornings at 8.20am to talk about the latest news in cannabis.
Four more states are primed to vote on a marijuana initiatives in November. With 93% of the nation backing medical cannabis in an April 2018 poll from the independent Quinnipiac University, expect the medical bills to pass.
This is a conservative state voting on a recreational weed initiative. The Marijuana Legalization and Automatic Expungement Initiative, or Measure 3, would legalize the sale of adult-use marijuana, and further, it would expunge the criminal records of persons convicted of a drug violation of any now-legal drug and consider cannabis offenses such as trying to sell or distribute marijuana to a person younger than the age of 21 with the same penalty as if the individual or minor were in possession of alcohol. Polls are conflicted. According to the Bismarck Tribune, just 38% of the state’s residents polled on Aug. 31 favored. An online poll from the Bismarck Tribune on Aug. 16 finds 82% are in favor.
Michigan’s Marijuana Legalization Initiative, also known as Proposal 1, would allow adults aged 21 and over to purchase and possess marijuana. Retail sales would get a 10% excise tax, with money going to local governments and the schools. Residents would be allowed to grow up to 12 marijuana plants at their residence. Cities are allowed to make their own choices whether to allow sales. Polls again widely conflicting: ClickOnDetroit.com, which opposes it, showed 47% of residents against the measure and 44% in favor. The State of the State survey from Michigan State University found 61% in favor of legalization and 34% opposed. Toss up.
Another traditionally conservative state whose residents will be voting on a medical marijuana initiative. The Utah Medical Cannabis Act, or Proposition 2, supports the legalization of medical cannabis for patients with qualifying illnesses. To qualify, 154,000 valid signatures were counted, far more than the 113,000 needed. Doctors could issue a medical cannabis card that would let patients purchase either two ounces of unprocessed marijuana or up to 10 grams of THC or CBD products within a two-week period. Smoking marijuana or using vape devices won’t be allowed. Polls show mostly support. A February survey from UtahPolicy.com found 77% of Utahns either strongly or somewhat favor the legalization of medical weed. In a more recent survey from the Salt Lake Tribune–Hinckley Institute of Politics, 66% of residents supported the measure.
Missouri has three separate medical marijuana initiatives. All easily surpassed the number of signatures needed for inclusion on the ballot. Amendment 2 would legalize state-licensed physicians to recommend medical cannabis to patients with qualifying conditions at a 4% tax rate, to provide healthcare services for veterans, expected to bring in $24 million, as well as boast the second-highest annual state operating cost of $7 million.
Amendment 3 would legalize cannabis for medical purposes but would slap a 15% tax estimated to raise $66 million a year and cost the state only $500,000 and establish a Biomedical Research and Drug Development Institute to find cures for cancer. Proposition C, the only one of the three that wouldn’t require a constitutional amendment, would allow medical marijuana to be prescribed by state-licensed physicians to patients with qualifying conditions, with a 2% tax on each sale, to generate about $10 million in revenue, but with expenses expected to hit $10 million a year. All revenue would be go to veteran healthcare services, drug treatment, law enforcement, and education.