You may have heard that marijuana legalization is on the ballot in Alaska, Florida, Oregon, and the District of Columbia, during this midterm election. But marijuana is also on the ballot in dozens of cities and a US territory on Election Day.
Here is a primer on some of the local elections on marijuana, based on the Marijuana Policy Project's great guide.
Two cities, Lewiston and South Portland, are voting on whether to legalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and older. The ballot initiatives also express support for legalizing marijuana at the state level. Advocates plan to get a statewide legalization initiative on Maine's ballot in 2016, making the city measures trial balloons of sorts for a statewide effort.
As part of a push across 18 cities in Michigan over the next couple years, 11 cities will vote on whether to allow the use, possession, and transfer of up to one ounce of marijuana. The initiatives would have no effect on state law, under which most pot-related tickets are written.
Guam's ballot initiative would legalize medical marijuana to treat "debilitating medical conditions" like cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, HIV, arthritis, and PTSD. A government commission would later establish rules and regulations for how the marijuana will be distributed through dispensaries. Unlike other jurisdictions, Guam already voted — and the unofficial results show medical marijuana ahead.
Marijuana will be on the ballot in many Colorado cities and counties for the third election cycle in a row. Voters in 2012 approved the legalization of marijuana, and in 2013 they approved higher sales taxes on recreational pot. This year, nine cities and towns are voting on whether to allow or ban stores that sell marijuana, and 12 cities and counties will vote on marijuana taxes.
In California, regulations over medical marijuana are left almost entirely to cities and counties. Today, 10 cities and counties in the state will vote on whether to allow medical marijuana stores within their boundaries and how to regulate them.