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Nevada and four other states have recreational marijuana ballot initiatives to be decided in the November 8, 2016 general election.

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Nevada and four other states have recreational marijuana ballot initiatives to be decided in the November 8, 2016 general election.  Business Insider provides an overview of these measures and their chances of passing.

Massachusetts: In spite of strong opposition, chances of passage are pretty good. 

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh oppose recreational legalization. The two joined Attorney General Maura Healey in a Boston Globe op-ed this March opposing the measure:

“Our state has already decriminalized the drug for personal use, and we’ve made it legally available for medical use. The question before us now is whether marijuana should be fully legal and widely available for commercial sale. We think the answer is ‘no.'”

If passed, the bill would fully legalize recreational marijuana starting on December 15, 2016.

Maine: Despite the failure of several previous legalization efforts, this bill looks destined for passing with overwhelming support.

Though Maine is a Democrat-leaning state, and this bill looks destined for passing with overwhelming support, several prior legalization efforts have failed. This time, things look more certain: Over $1 million was raised in pursuit of legalization in Maine, much of which was already spent gathering the signatures necessary to get Question 1 on the ballot this November.

Attorney General Janet Mills and Gov. Paul LePage both oppose legalization, but there appears to be no formal opposition groups for this November’s ballot measure.

Arizona: Chance of passing: not good. 

Despite Sen. John McCain’s support of legalization in the state, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey opposes the initiative. Overall, Arizona is an overwhelmingly red state and has been for decades. Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney took the state’s 11 electoral votes from President Barack Obama in 2012.

That said, Arizona is a state with rapidly changing demographics — and with that demographic shift comes a political shift. Polling shows a close race in the battle over marijuana legalization, but the proposition, currently, looks as though it won’t pass.

California: Passage of Proposition 64 is beyond likely.  An overwhelming majority of Californians support it. 

If California passes Proposition 64, the entire West Coast of the US will have legalized recreational and medicinal marijuana use. That’s huge. California, by itself, is the world’s sixth largest economy, ahead of places like France. You know, that whole country? France? Right.

And Proposition 64 is beyond likely to pass. Even though Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein opposes legalization, and Gov. Jerry Brown said in 2014, “How many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation?” an overwhelming majority of California residents support it.

California’s initiative is also unique in that it could roll back the sentences of thousands of people who’ve been convicted on charges related to marijuana.

Nevada: Chance of passing is good according to one poll- it puts legalization at 50% and opposition at 41%. 

Despite the “Sin City” association with Las Vegas, much of the state of Nevada is rural and conservative. President Barack Obama took the state in both the 2008 and 2012 elections, marking a political slide toward blue as demographics in Nevada started to look more like California.

Still, even with a move toward progressive policymakers and being a place known for its close relationship to vice, legislators aren’t all in favor. Democratic Sen. Harry Reid said he’d vote against legalization if it were up to him. Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval also opposes the measure. All of which is to say that if passed, it could face opposition from sitting leadership.



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