Midterm elections are not very good for pot reform. Weed advocates learned their lesson in 2010, when California failed to pass cannabis legalization thanks in large part to lower voter turnout.
So this year's election is significantly less exciting for legalization than in 2016 (when Massachusetts, California, and Nevada legalized) or 2012 (when Washington and Colorado legalized). But pot is still on the ballot this year. Voters in Michigan and North Dakota could make recreational pot legal and voters in Utah and Missouri could pass medical cannabis laws.
All four initiatives have at least a viable chance to pass, so this election could inch our country even closer to more sensible pot laws.
Michigan appears to be the place most likely to legalize recreational pot in 2018. Two polls released this month showed 57 percent support for a ballot measure that would legalize pot, recreational dispensaries, and give adults the right to grow up to 12 plants at home.
Michigan already has a pretty robust medical marijuana system and proponents of legalization have been able to raise over $2 million in support of the initiative. Michigan's sizable economy and Midwest location would make it a big win for legalization proponents trying to spread pot reform into new territory.
North Dakota is taking a very wild west approach to legalization, with a ballot measure that would make it legal for anyone over 21 to grow as much pot as they want with almost no government regulation. If the state wants to set up oversight over legal pot, the legislature would need to pass additional laws in the future.
This no-regulation approach to legalization has some opponents calling it the "most liberal" pot legalization campaign in the country, although the libertarian approach may appeal to some of the state's conservative voters. Danielle Corcione at Leafly reported that with inconsistent polling, the measure's "chances of success are still anyone’s guess."
Voters in two other states will get the chance to expand or legalize medical pot programs on Tuesday. Missouri confusingly has three different proposals on the ballot that would each legalize medical cannabis in slightly different ways. Utah has a measure that would create a medical pot system for people with a fairly narrow set of qualifying conditions. The state legislature is also working on its own legislation that appears to have the support of the Mormon Church, which obviously has a lot of power in Salt Lake City.
So keep an eye on these measures Tuesday while you wait for a Blue Wave to overtake Congress, and always remember—these state-level legalization attempts ain't shit compared to the nationwide legalization Canada just accomplished and Mexico appears to be on the verge of.