Which States Are Voting On Legalizing Weed In 2016? The Battle For Marijuana Continues
On Nov. 8, voters will consider more than just who they wish to elect as president of the united states. Along with Senate races, some voters will decide on other issues, including the legalization of marijuana. Already, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington have voted to make medicinal and recreational marijuana legal in their states. But, you might be wondering, which states are voting on legalizing weed in 2016?
Nine states are set to vote on legalizing either recreational or medical marijuana this year. Of the nine, five states will vote on legalizing recreational weed: Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. Four others will vote on legalizing medical marijuana, which, as NBC noted, is already legalized in about half the country. The four states to decide on medical marijuana are Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota.
Considering nearly a fifth of states have some type of marijuana legalization initiative on a ballot in this election, it's apparent how much the public opinion on weed is changing. Many people aren't concerned with the stoner stereotype anymore; instead, they are embracing the drug's reported benefits, which can include everything from easing pain from various conditions to possibly slowing Alzheimer's. With an increasing number of states joining in on the legalization of pot, it's probably just a matter of years before it eventually goes to the federal level.
The Pew Research Center released a study recently that shows those in favor of legalizing marijuana has risen steadily since the 1990s. Ten years ago, 32 percent of adults polled thought that marijuana should be legalized. Now, 57 percent of adults think weed should be legal. Pew also found that Democrats were more likely to support legalization, almost 2-1.
Despite the majority support among adults in the Pew study, there are certainly still many detractors for the use of marijuana. In the minds of some Americans, there is still a stigma of pot users as drug abusers who are lazy and get themselves into trouble from using the drug. In August 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration denied a request to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule 1 drug (which includes heroin, LSD, and ecstasy) to a level with fewer restrictions.
We'll have to wait until Nov. 8 to see the outcome of each state's battle for weed legalization and see which side wins out, but it's safe to say that opinions are certainly changing throughout the country, and more people are opening up to the idea of its legalization.