More States Pass Medicinal, Recreational Marijuana Initiatives in 2016 Election

NOVEMBER 09, 2016
Caitlyn Fitzpatrick
primary care, family medicine, internal medicine, hospital medicine, pain management, medical marijuana, cannabis, weed, pot, drugs, election 2016, vote

While some Americans cheer and others sulk at the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election (spoiler: Donald Trump is our new POTUS), others are just as interested in the various state ballot initiatives focused on marijuana.

Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia already have legalized medicinal marijuana and only Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and DC have legalized it for recreational use. While all states differ on which health conditions warrant a pot prescription, the common ones are chronic pain, glaucoma, seizures, and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

On November 8, four states voted on initiatives for medicinal marijuana and five states voted for recreational use. Here’s what happened.

Voters in all four states passed initiatives in favor of medicinal marijuana:
  • Arkansas: 53% voted yes
      -  Passed for 17 medical conditions
  • Florida: 71% voted yes
      -  Passed for debilitating medical conditions as determined by a doctor
  • Montana: 57% voted yes
      -  Loosened the restrictions on conditions and number of patients
  • North Dakota: 64% voted yes
Only California, Massachusetts, and Nevada said yes to recreational use. Votes in Maine, however, are still coming in and the results are incredibly close, but “yes” is winning at the moment.
  • Arizona: 52% voted no
  • California: 56% voted yes
  • Maine: 50% voted yes (too close to say for sure yet)
  • Massachusetts: 54% voted yes
  • Nevada: 54% voted yes
Marijuana is still illegal under federal law – which is why you won’t see people walking around Boston and lighting up. So now that the initiatives have passed, it’s really up to federal officials to take the next step.

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