Marijuana legalization approved in 3 states, rejected by North Dakota

By Ed Adamczyk

Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Legalized marijuana has been approved in some form in three states, after ballot measures passed Tuesday.

Michigan voters favored legalizing recreational-use marijuana, while Utah and Missouri passed propositions on medical marijuana.


Michigan's Proposal 1 passed with 56 percent, although marijuana will not be commercially available there until at least 2020. The state has outlined plans for a series of limitations, but has not yet issued sales licenses or commercial regulations.

The measure calls for legal possession of up to 2.5 ounces and legal growth for personal use of up to 12 marijuana plants. Using marijuana while under the influence will remain against the law. Also, landlords can prohibit possession and cultivation on their properties, and employers can maintain zero-tolerance policies for employees.

Michigan already has a law allowing and regulating medical marijuana.

Utah voters passed Proposition 2 with 53 percent. Prior to the referendum, state lawmakers met with law enforcement, medical leaders and officials from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to design a compromise bill they said strikes a balance between the needs of patients and a curb on opportunities for abuse.


Gov. Gary Herbert said a special legislative session will be called to have the law enacted. The compromise law has a more narrowly-defined definition of chronic pain and doesn't allow users to grow marijuana plants.

The LDS Church, a force in Utah politics, urged voters to reject the referendum.

Missouri voters approved one of three medical marijuana laws on the Tuesday ballot. Amendment 2 passed with about 65 percent.

North Dakota voters, though, rejected legalization Tuesday. With the three new states, the total number with laws permitting marijuana use is 33. Possession, use or distribution of pot remains illegal under federal law.

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