Five States Voting on Marijuana Measures in November, Including Colorado

Kate McKee Simmons
Four weeks from now, voters in Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota and Utah will all be deciding measures that would lift legal restrictions on marijuana — but all in different ways. And Colorado, too, has another marijuana-related issue on the ballot.

A Michigan ballot proposal would set up a licensed retail system similar to Colorado's, while North Dakota voters will decide whether to allow marijuana possession and distribution (but without a comprehensive business licensing system), as well as expunging certain marijuana-related crimes.

Missouri has three measures on the ballot that would legalize medical marijuana, while Utah has one MMJ proposal — and if it's approved, Utah Governor Gary Herbert has already promised special legislation to change its language.

Colorado voters will have a marijuana-related decision to make in November, too, but this concerns hemp, not the state's commercial pot industry. Amendment X would remove the definition of industrial hemp from the state constitution. Proponents say the move would keep Colorado's hemp industry competitive with the rest of the country if the federal government loosens restrictions on hemp; the measure's detractors worry that removing hemp from the constitution could open the hemp industry and growers to future state crackdowns. (We'll have more on Amendment X later this week.)

Here are the marijuana measures that other states are considering.

Michigan: Proposition 1

This proposal would:
  • Allow individuals 21 and older to purchase, possess and use marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles, and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal consumption.
  • Impose a 10-ounce limit for marijuana kept at residences and require that amounts over 2.5 ounces be secured in locked containers.
  • Create a state licensing system for marijuana businesses and allow municipalities to ban or restrict them.
  • Permit retail sales of marijuana and edibles subject to a 10 percent tax, dedicated to implementation costs, clinical trials, schools, roads and municipalities where marijuana businesses are located.
  • Change several current violations from crimes to civil infractions.
North Dakota: Measure 3

This proposal would:
  • Legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the state of North Dakota for people 21 years of age or older.
  • Create penalties for the possession or distribution to or by any individuals under 21 years of age.
  • Create an automatic expungement process for individuals with convictions for a controlled substance that has been legalized.
  • Eliminate the State of North Dakota's immunity from damages resulting from expungement lawsuits.
Missouri: Amendment 2

This would amend the Missouri Constitution to:
  • Allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and create regulations and licensing/certification procedures for marijuana and marijuana facilities.
  • Impose a 4 percent tax on the retail sale of marijuana.
  • Use funds from these taxes for health and care services for military veterans by the Missouri Veterans Commission and to administer the program to license/certify and regulate marijuana and marijuana facilities.
Missouri: Amendment 3

This would amend the Missouri Constitution to:
  • Allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and create regulations and licensing procedures for marijuana and marijuana facilities.
  • Impose a 15 percent tax on the retail sale of marijuana, and a tax on the wholesale sale of marijuana flowers and leaves per dry-weight ounce to licensed facilities.
  • Use funds from these taxes to establish and fund a state research institute to conduct research with the purpose of developing cures and treatments for cancer and other incurable diseases or medical conditions.
Missouri: Proposition C

This would amend Missouri law to:
  • Remove state prohibitions on personal use and possession of medical cannabis (marijuana) with a written certification by a physician who treats a patient diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition.
  • Remove state prohibitions on growth, possession, production, and sale of medical marijuana by licensed and regulated facilities, and a facility's licensed owners and employees.
  • Impose a 2 percent tax on the retail sale of medical marijuana.
  • Use funds from this tax for veterans' services, drug treatment, early childhood education and for public safety in cities with a medical marijuana facility.
Utah: Proposition 2

This proposal would:
  • Establish a state-controlled process that allows persons with certain illnesses to acquire and use medical cannabis and, in certain limited circumstances, to grow up to six cannabis plants for personal medical use.
  • Authorize the establishment of facilities that grow, process, test or sell medical cannabis and require those facilities to be licensed by the state; and
  • Establish state controls on those licensed facilities, including: electronic systems that track cannabis inventory and purchases, and requirements and limitations on the packaging and advertising of cannabis and on the types of products allowed.
Colorado: Amendment X

The measure would amend section 16 of Article XVIII of the state constitution to change the definition of industrial hemp from a constitutional definition to a statutory one. The following underlined text would be added, and struck-through text would be deleted:

Section 16. Personal use and regulation of marijuana. (2) Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, (d) "Industrial hemp" means the plant of the genus cannabis and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed three-tenths percent on a dry weight basishas the same meaning as it is defined in federal law or as the term is defined in Colorado statute.