Five states are voting on the legalization of recreational marijuana today—where it’s most likely to pass


Recreational marijuana is on the ballot today in five states // Photo via Flickr user Global Panorama, CC 2.0

Voters in five states will decide today whether to join Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia in legalizing recreational marijuana. If the measures pass in all five states, about a quarter of the U.S. population will live in areas where pot is legal for recreational use, reports Fortune.

The question is on the ballot in California, Arizona, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts, and opinion polls show it’s favored in all five states, though by varying margins.

According to Fortune, in California, where medical marijuana has been legal since 1996, a recent poll showed 55 percent of likely voters supported legalization. That was similar to the numbers in Massachusetts and Maine, though polls show a slimmer majority favoring legalization in Nevada, and some reports are calling Arizona a dead heat.

In addition, measures to legalize medical marijuana or expand its use are on the ballot in North Dakota, Montana, Arkansas and Florida. Twenty-five states, including Minnesota, already have legalized cannabis in some form, whether medical or recreational, or both.

According to Fortune, approval by California alone, America’s most populous state with 39 million people, would put nearly a fifth of all Americans living in states where recreational marijuana is legal. That number grows to more than 23 percent if all five state measures pass.

A larger showdown is looming at the federal level if legalization is approved in a even a few of the states considering it today. In the eyes of the federal government, Marijuana is still in the same category as heroin, but as more states move toward legalization the feds may need to rethink how they classify the drug.

In Minnesota, medical marijuana in pill, tincture and oil forms has been legal since 2014 (state law prohibits smokeable medical marijuana) to treat things like chronic pain and nausea in cancer and HIV/AIDS patients, Tourette syndrome, and seizures. Most recently, intractable pain was added to the list of qualifying conditions. There’s currently no movement at the state legislature toward legalizing recreational marijuana in the state.

[H/T Fortune]

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