Three US states legalized marijuana after the midterm elections. Voters in Utah and Missouri voted in favor of its use for medical purposes, and in Michigan they authorized its widespread use. Only North Dakota rejected amendments to allow marijuana.
While marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, 33 states have already legalized medical marijuana and 10 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana.
“Marijuana is now legalized for adult use in one in five states, so I think it’s safe to say the federal laws need updating,” said Matthew Schweich, deputy director of the advocacy group Marijuana Use.
In conservative Utah, patients with conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cancer and HIV will now be able to receive medical doses of marijuana at some hospitals. Doctors will not be able to recommend the drug to more than 20 percent of their patients.
Voters in Missouri considered three different initiatives related to medical marijuana. All three approved legalization, but they differed on the percentage of tax on “pot” (ranging from 2% to 15%) and how the fee money would be used. Voters approved an amendment with a 4% tax and set aside the money for military veterans.
Michigan became the first state in the Midwest to fully legalize marijuana. People over 21 will be able to buy and possess marijuana for recreational use, as well as grow up to 12 cannabis plants in their home for personal use. There is a 10% tax on its sale, and the state government will be able to license and regulate businesses.
These results are largely in line with public opinion, with about 62% of Americans supporting the legalization of marijuana. This number has doubled, compared to 2000.