Midterm Elections: Big win for cannabis in Michigan, but how did the other states perform?

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After a very exciting midterm election, it looks like a few more states will have legal cannabis.

Here’s a look at five states that had cannabis reform on their ballots and how those proposals fared with voters.


Michigan voters said ‘Yes’ to Proposal 1, making the state the first in the Midwest to legalize recreational cannabis cultivation and use for those 21 years of age and older.

Though the win wasn’t called early on Wednesday, Healthy and Productive Michigan, an opposing group conceded saying “the level of responsibility… now rests on the shoulders of those who have voted yes.”

The support for the proposal was overwhelming with many people interested in the new measure for its economic benefits.

“I’ve got no attachment to marijuana myself, but I don’t care to stand in the way of the train while it’s coming down the tracks,” said 51-year-old Democrat Kristen Schrader of Washtenaw County. “I don’t want people to go to other states to get it and spend their money somewhere else. If there’s going to be an economic benefit to legalize marijuana, I want it to be in Michigan.”

A state licensing system will be enacted for marijuana businesses and it will allow for cities and individual townships to restrict them.

Any current cannabis-related convictions would be downgraded from crimes to civil infractions.

North Dakota

Voters in North Dakota rejected Measure 3 by a margin of 41 percent in favor to 59 against. The measure would have legalized recreational cannabis for those 21 and over. It would have also expunged past and current convictions related to cannabis.

Many opposed to the measure argued that the proposal was too unstructured as it would have allowed for people to grow and possess as much cannabis as they want. It would have also allowed for a legal system of production and sales but it did not outline any rules or regulations.

Advocates for cannabis in North Dakota are still hopeful that legalization will happen in the near future.

“The ball is now rolling in North Dakota, and we hope the state’s passionate local activist community will keep that momentum going,” said Mason Tvert, spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project. “It is worth noting the first legalization initiative we ran in Colorado in 2006 received about 41 percent, and it wasn’t much longer before we crossed the goal line.”


Missouri voters approved one of the medical cannabis measures on the ballot. Amendment 2 passed by a margin of 66 percent to 34 percent.

The new measure would allow patients to grow up to six plants at home and to purchase at least four ounces of cannabis from dispensaries monthly. As there’s no list specifying qualifying illnesses or disorders, doctors will be allowed to recommend medical cannabis to patients as they see fit.

“Thanks to the unflagging efforts of patients and advocates, Missourians who could benefit from medical marijuana will soon be able to use it without fear of being treated like criminals,” said Matthew Sweich, deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “We hope lawmakers will implement the measure efficiently and effectively to ensure qualified patients can gain access to their medicine as soon as possible.”


Voters in Utah have voted ‘Yes’ to Proposition 2 by a margin of 53 percent to 47 percent. The Proposition would legalize cannabis for medical purposes for people with qualifying illnesses.

Patients would be allowed to purchase two ounces of dried cannabis or products containing 10 grams of CBD or THC from a dispensary during a two week period. Patients not living within 100 miles of a dispensary would be able to grow six plants at home. Smoking cannabis will not be allowed.


Ohio’s Issue 1 failed quite miserably with 63.8 percent of Ohioans voting against the measure.

The measure would have reduced penalties for a variety of cannabis-related crimes and would have changed the state’s constitution to focus on treatment instead of incarceration in drug-related charges.

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