(But seriously—please vote. No, really: It's more important than ever and there is no excuse not to. So please, please, please, take the limited amount of effort and time to be a good citizen, recognizing that in other parts of our troubled globe people quite literally die for this right.)
There are four states with cannabis issues on the ballot—two states have recreational cannabis programs to be voted on, and two additional states decide if medical cannabis programs are what they want. How do they look? Thanks for asking!
The website Marijuana Business Daily did a great wrap-up yesterday, and overall the outlook is good. But if the election of 2016 taught me anything, it's that there is no God, and poll numbers can be wrong. So fingers crossed that those who support medical and recreational cannabis show up at the polls.
Michigan—The numbers looks good for their recreational adult-use cannabis program, with recent polls showing approval of 60 percent of voters. For those ages 18 to 29 (AKA the kids who need to get off the lawns), approval is a whopping 86 percent. For those 65 and over who enjoy telling dope-smoking punks to leave said lawns, approval drops to 40 percent.
Missouri—Three measures involving medical cannabis programs qualified for the ballot, with the one receiving the greatest number of votes being the winner. All three measures have more than 60 percent support, so it looks good. You know what else looked great? 2016. VOTE.
North Dakota—It's not looking great for their ballot measure to create an adult-use recreational program. The disparate results from two recent polls have the measure failing by nearly 75 percent, while another had support pegged at 51 percent. Have you ever been to North Dakota? Those people deserve cannabis. And if they do pass it, South Dakota could be next, in which case my dream of opening a dispensary there called "Budlands" can finally come to fruition.
Utah—Sigh. This has been a fascinating journey of ups and downs, and because it's Utah, you can thank the Mormon Church of Latter-Day Saints (COLDS) for that. Initially, the ballot measure for a medical cannabis program was polling high at 77 percent. Then the COLDS weighed in heavily against the measure, which saw support plunge to 51 percent, because special underwear and such. But even if the ballot measure does fail, Utahns (yes, it's a thing) will still have a semblance of an MMJ program. With the input from cannabis advocates, a compromise medical program was designed, and it's better than nothing, but sounds like, well, something designed by the COLDS.
The program will be enacted by the legislature later this month, and looks... interesting. According to Marijuana Business Daily, the compromise measure will:
• "Initially limit the number of dispensaries, called pharmacies, to five statewide, with a licensed pharmacist at each." (A whole five, for the whole state. Nothing someone in pain likes more than a long drive.)
• "Establish a single, state-owned central pharmacy that would supply health departments with MMJ products with certain dosage limits." (Who knows the most about producing top-quality cannabis? The Utah government, that's who!)
• "Permit MMJ to be consumed as a tablet, capsule, concentrated oil, liquid suspension, topical substance, a skin patch, a sublingual pill, a chewable or dissolvable cube, or unprocessed marijuana flower packaged in a blister pack in which each blister contains no more than 1 gram." (One gram really should be enough, right? Any more is just using it to get your jollies, which as we know, is not a COLDS-approved activity.)
• "Ban home cultivation." (Good. The idea of people growing their own plants is an affront to God.)
Marijuana Business Daily continues:
"Marijuana resin or wax could be used in limited circumstances, according to the Deseret News. Chronic pain, which is the most common ailment among MMJ patients, would remain a qualifying medical condition under the agreement. But it’s not clear how MMJ cultivation would be set up. Leaders of the Republican-dominated Legislature say the deal guards against the possibility of broad legalization. Medical marijuana advocates say they’re backing it to avoid continued fighting and uncertainty."So that's the state of today's pot races. But there's something more important than any single ballot measure and it's this:
Please vote today. Help someone else vote if they need assistance. Offer to drop off a busy single parent's ballot, or any neighbors/friends with mobility issues. Just make your voice heard—it's crucial.