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How Marijuana Fared on the Local Level

Marijuana issues were also on the ballot in over a dozen cities, districts and counties.

Alaska, Oregon, Washington D.C. and Guam weren’t the only marijuana victories on Tuesday. Marijuana issues were also on the ballot in over a dozen cities, districts and counties. The result were mostly positive but with a few notable loses.

New Mexico – voters in two of the most populous counties made it clear they want marijuana decriminalized. Advisory questions in both counties won overwhelmingly. In Bernalillo County 59 percent of voters backed their decriminalization measure, while in Santa Fe County 73 percent voted for it. Since the measures are non-binding, though, it is up to local legislatures to advance policies that mirror the will of the electorate.

Massachusetts – Campaigns are allowed to put non-binding public policy questions on the ballot in individual state house districts. The Drug Policy forum of Massachusetts and Bay State Repeal placed several marijuana legalization questions on the ballot in 14 districts across the state. According to figures from Drug Policy forum of Massachusetts, all these questions got majority support ranging from between 54-73 percent yes. Analysis based on similar public policy questions last election indicate voters in the state would easily approve a marijuana legalization initiative if one is put on the ballot in 2016.

Maine – Two cities had marijuana legalization measures on their local ballot. In South Portland the measure was narrowly approved, but the one in Lewiston lost.

Michigan – Eleven municipalities in the state had marijuana legalization/decriminalization measures on the ballot. Six of them won and five lost. It is worth noting, though, that most of these were relatively small municipalities and not great targets. In previous elections similar measures had already been put on the ballot in top targets like Detroit, Flint, and Grand Rapids where they won.

Photo by Dustin Quasar under Creative Commons

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at