California, Massachusetts, and Nevada all said yes to the drug, with Maine still too close to call
There was some good news for voters looking to take the edge off Tuesday night’s shock election result in the US, as three states also voted to legalise the recreational use of marijuana. A further four states also voted to allow citizens to use the drug in medical marijuana measures.
California, where medical marijuana was already legal, Nevada, and Massachusetts all passed bills allowing for the recreational use of the drug, while Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota’s electorate to allow patients to use the drug to treat a number of chronic illnesses and conditions. Twenty-eight American states, more than half, now allow marijuana in some form, presenting federal authorities with a new challenge over the official stand on the drug.
At the time of writing, the result in the state of Maine, while narrow, was undeclared but standing at 50.3% yes in favour of legalising marijuana, based on the counted ballots.
The new states follow in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington, which legalised the drug in 2012, and the 2014 decisions made by Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia.
The consumption of recreational marijuana is limited to adults over the age of 21, who are allowed to use and possess the drug, but not to cultivate or distribute it. Legislators in the states that have now approved the scheme will now look to license dealers and shops – as well as to reap the tax revenues promised to voters, which are expected to be as high, for want of a better term, as $1bn in California.