Election Day has had many twists and turns. Aside from the very close presidential race, recreational marijuana initiatives scored huge victories in the states of Massachusetts and California. Also, many more states successfully passed provisions to allow medical marijuana as well. The last time marijuana reform had this much success was when the states of Washington and Colorado voted to approve the legalization of recreational marijuana back in 2012.
There are three other states which had recreational marijuana initiatives to vote on; Maine, Nevada, and Arizona. So far, the total preliminary votes in Maine and Nevada show that those initiatives are leading in those states. Arizona, on the other hand, is trailing on those initiatives so it looks like that state might not pass it. But still, if Maine and Nevada end up passing those initiatives, then that will mean four additional states will have legalized recreational marijuana use.
As far as medical marijuana goes, Arkansas, North Dakota and Florida saw voters successfully approving their initiatives for medical marijuana use. Montana even had a provision on their ballot for the state’s existing medical marijuana law which would loosen the current restrictions on it. So far, that provision is leading amongst voters there.
The big question now is what will the federal approach be to recreational marijuana when the next president takes office. By the looks of the election results, that president may very well be Donald Trump. It is unclear what Trump’s agenda will be regarding the issue. Despite marijuana use being a federal crime, President Obama decided not to go after the people in those states who are legally using recreational marijuana there. Will a President Trump do the same? If not, then it won’t matter if states legalize recreational marijuana because it is still a federal crime and Trump may very well pursue federal charges against those who use it. We will have to wait and see what happens.