States to vote on drug laws

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

Nine US states will have a chance to vote on Novem­ber 8 on ex­pand­ing le­gal ac­cess to mar­i­juana. Five states – Ari­zona, Cal­i­for­nia, Maine, Mas­sachusetts and Ne­vada – will con­sider le­gal­is­ing the recre­ational use of pot. Three oth­ers – Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota – will de­cide whether to per­mit mar­i­juana for med­i­cal pur­poses. Mon­tana will weigh whether to ease re­stric­tions on an ex­ist­ing med­i­cal mar­i­juana law. As the most pop­u­lous state, with a rep­u­ta­tion for trend-set­ting, Cal­i­for­nia is at­tract­ing the most at­ten­tion – and money – in an in­ten­si­fy­ing de­bate over Propo­si­tion 64. Sil­i­con Val­ley ty­coons and deep-pock­eted donors with con­nec­tions to the le­gal med­i­cal mar­i­juana in­dus­try are among the top fi­nan­cial back­ers of a propot cam­paign that has raised al­most $17 mil­lion. Op­po­nents have raised slightly more than $2 mil­lion, in­clud­ing a $1.4 mil­lion con­tri­bu­tion from re­tired Penn­syl­va­nia art pro­fes­sor Julie Schauer. Ad­vo­cates on both sides say pas­sage in Cal­i­for­nia would likely ig­nite le­gal­i­sa­tion move­ments in other states, es­pe­cially when the tax dol­lars start adding up. Cal­i­for­nia’s non­par­ti­san Leg­isla­tive An­a­lyst’s Of­fice es­ti­mated the state could col­lect up to $1 bil­lion a year in mar­i­juana taxes.

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