The Florida ballot measure that would permit the use of medical marijuana failed to reach the 60 percent approval mark, which was required for constitutional amendments in the state, according to National Public Radio (NPR). The outcome showed 58 percent in approval, with 42 percent against.
Meanwhile, voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. have approved the legal use of marijuana for recreational marijuana purposes.
Supporters of the D.C. marijuana measure passed the initiative with more than 69 percent of the vote. The District’s Initiative 71 includes provisions that allow residents to grow six or fewer marijuana plants in their homes and possess up to 2 ounces of the drug for their own use. However, the measure does not allow for sales or taxation, and it is still subject to congressional review, according to The Verge.
Alaskans have voted to legalize marijuana by a 52 percent to 48 percent margin. The approved Ballot Measure 2 will allow adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana (28 grams) and up to six plants.
According to the Anchorage Daily News, the initiative will not become law until 90 days after the election is certified. The state can then create a marijuana control board, which will have nine months to craft regulations on how marijuana businesses will operate. The control board will be housed under the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.
Oregon approved Measure 91 legalizing recreational use of marijuana, with nearly 54 percent in favor and 46 percent against. The Oregon bill is projected to be legalized by July 1, 2015, and the state liquor board, which will have full regulatory control, will need to implement regulations by January 1, 2016. It would also allow Oregon citizens to grow up to four plants at a time. A previous attempt in 2012 failed in Oregon, but possession has long been decriminalized there.
NPR reports that Oregon’s legislative revenue office recently estimated that “in fiscal year 2017, the revenue from legal marijuana is expected to be $16 million with a lower range of $13.1 million and an upper range of $19.4 million.”
Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C., join Colorado and Washington, which legalized cannabis use in 2012, despite a federal ban on marijuana sales and possession. Other states considering legalization for recreational use in the coming years include Arizona, California, New York and Maine.
Sources: NPR, Anchorage Daily News, The Verge