The marijuana vote is in. As we reported a few weeks ago, there were a number of states that had marijuana initiatives on the ballot this year. Now that it’s the Wednesday after election day, the marijuana votes have been tallied and there are some good results for those that are in favor.
New Jersey, overwhelmingly approved the legalization of recreational marijuana on Tuesday. Nearly 2/3 of the voters yesterday voted yes on this question (after 62% of precincts have reported results). Over 1.7 million yes votes have been counted so far while 860,000 no votes have been counted. Now we will see how long it takes for the recreational markets to open up. Will this be like Maine (4 or 5 years) or will it be like Colorado, which got things done in about a year.
The vote in South Dakota has been a lot closer than in NJ. With 85% of precincts reporting results, it appears that the ‘yes’ vote will win. Over 200,000 yes votes have been tallied, which comes to 53.4% of the votes.
Next up is Montana, which had 2 different but related items on the ballot relating to marijuana. On Initiative 190 (legalization of recreational marijuana), the initiative has passed with just under 57% of the votes. This is based on 99% of precincts reporting results, so it looks like this has passed. Initiative 118 (which sets the age of marijuana purchase at 21) also passed with just over 57% of the vote. Both initiatives received nearly 319,000 yes votes.
The final state with legal marijuana on the ballot was Arizona with Proposition 207. This initiative also passed, a little more handily than SD and Montana, but not quite as overwhelmingly as in New Jersey. Arizona has passed this legislation by a margin of nearly 60% to 40%. Three counties in the state did vote against the initiative, but Phoenix is not in any of those counties so the initiative has passed. The 3 counties voting no were; Navajo, Apache and Graham counties.
On a related note, the state of Oregon has voted to decriminalize small amounts of heroin and cocaine.