Regulation Comes Next as Most Legalization Measures Passed
California voters took the lead as they passed a measure legalizing recreational use of marijuana. Arizona voters defeated theirs, and results for Maine's legalization measure were too close to call on Nov. 9.
Now that voters in several U.S. states have passed legalization measures, either for recreational or medicinal use of marijuana, legislators and regulators in the states that did on Nov. 8 will get to work on drafting the rules for regulating and taxing these new industries, likely looking to the example of Colorado and possibly other legalization pioneers among the states.
California's Proposition 64 passed by a 56-44 majority with more than 4.9 million votes in favor. Voters in Nevada and Massachusetts also approved measures legalizing recreational use of marijuana and in Florida, Arkansas, and North Dakota, medical marijuana measures all passed. But the recreational marijuana initiative in Arizona was defeated, and the votes for and against Maine's recreational measure were too close to call it either way early Nov. 9, with the yes votes slightly ahead.
"Proposition 64 is just the beginning of essential work by government officials in California," The Los Angeles Times noted in a Nov. 9 editorial about the proposition's passage. "California has the opportunity to demonstrate that marijuana can be legalized with minimal harm to the public good." The editorial concluded, "It's up to lawmakers, regulators and advocates to ensure that this experiment in legalization works for all."