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States considering legalization in 2016

This year will be an important voting year, not only for the next president of the United States, but for cannabis, too. More and more states are implementing their own marijuana policies and letting voters and lawmakers decide on cannabis legalization. The following is a list of states that have launched initiatives to get cannabis on their 2016 ballot.


The Arizona Marijuana Legalization Initiative would legalize the possession and consumption of marijuana by anyone who is 21 years old or older. A 15% sales tax would be levied on the sale of cannabis. Individuals would be allowed to grow up to six plants in their home. The initiative will need over 150,642 signatures by July 7, 2016, to appear on the November 8th ballot.



The California Marijuana Legalization Initiative would legalize recreational marijuana for adults and regulate/tax the herb like alcohol. To earn a spot on the 2016 ballot, the initiative needs 365,880 signatures by February 4, 2016.



The Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative would legalize marijuana for individuals with qualifying conditions determined by a licensed state physician. Florida’s Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative is a constitutional amendment proposed for the November 8th ballot.



The Maine Marijuana Legalization Initiative would allow the possession and use of cannabis for individuals above 21 years of age. The initiative would also allow the possession and transportation of “marijuana accessories” and up to 2 ½ ounces of cannabis. The initiative needs 61,700 signatures to reach the ballot.



The Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Initiative would legalize marijuana for adults and regulate/ tax cannabis like alcohol. Supporters had until December 2, 2015, to submit at least 64,750 signatures. If lawmakers reject the initiative or do not act on it by May 3, 2016, then petitioners must collect another 10,792 signatures to make the November 8th ballot.



Michigan’s Marijuana Legalization Initiative would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana for those who are 21 years of age or older. Adults would be allowed to grow up to 12 plants each. The initiative would also permit hemp farming. The initiative requires 252,523 signatures.



Missouri may introduce the Missouri Marijuana Legalization Initiative on its 2016 ballot. The initiative would permit individuals who are 21 years old or older to sell, distribute and consume marijuana, as well as manufacture goods made from hemp. The supporting group will need to submit 157,788 signatures before cannabis hits the November 8th ballot.



The Nevada Marijuana Legalization Initiative will be on the November 8th ballot. One ounce or less will be legal for recreational use by individuals who are 21 years of age or older upon voters approval.


Most of these initiatives are currently collecting the amount of signatures they need. For the states that do get their initiatives on the ballot, on November 8, 2016, we will see if their citizens are ready to support marijuana legalization. You can expect 2016 to be a big year for the marijuana industry.

**Don’t forget to vote on Election Day (November 8, 2016).**

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Author: Patrick Thompson

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