Election Day Brings Pot Debate to North Dakota and Utah Voters

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The legalization of marijuana for both medical and recreational use is poised to spread further across the country this Election Day. Millions are set to cast their votes to roll back the prohibition of marijuana in two states and increase the access to medical marijuana in the other two.

“In North Dakota, voters may approve what would be the nation’s most permissive recreational marijuana laws, allowing adults to grow, consume and possess as much pot as they want, without government oversight. And in Utah, the state’s conservative residents are virtually guaranteed to see medical cannabis laws approved thanks to a deal struck between legalization advocates and religious leaders staunchly opposed to even alcohol and caffeine.”

North Dakota

“In North Dakota, voters are considering Measure 3, which in addition to fully legalizing recreational marijuana, would also expunge many marijuana-related criminal records. Unlike many other legalization measures, however, Measure 3 does not create a system to tax and regulate marijuana sales.

Instead, it permits residents to grow unlimited amounts of marijuana and then sell it tax-free. In other states that have legalized pot, anyone growing marijuana for sale is strictly regulated, and the amount people can buy is tightly controlled.”

Utah

“Utah’s marijuana debate has drawn national attention to a battle between the pro-legalization Utah Patients Coalition and the powerful Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which opposes the plan. However, a last-minute compromise brokered among the church, initiative backers and the state’s political establishment has laid the groundwork for medical pot in Utah regardless of whether Prop. 2 passes.”

Up until a few weeks ago, Utah’s measure enjoyed strong support, but that eroded as the LDS church formally opposed the plan and opponents began running highly critical radio ads warning this was a step toward full legalization.

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