Tuesday is marijuana’s big day, with voters in nine states deciding whether to relax cannabis restrictions for either medical or recreational use.
Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada are considering legalizing recreational marijuana. Voters in Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota are asking voters whether to permit medical use for certain conditions, like cancer or chronic pain. None of those votes will change the federal ban on marijuana use, although legalization advocates say it may further pressure Congress, the DEA and the FDA to act.
Here’s a quick guide to the measures, listed first by recreational and then by medical.
Recreational marijuana proposals
What would California’s marijuana law do?
The California plan, known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act or Prop. 64, allows residents to grow up to six plants at home and gives municipalities the power to allow or ban outdoor grows and marijuana stores. It requires commercial growers to comply with environmental regulations — many illegal growers today ignore laws governing water, pesticide and fertilizer use — and gives existing medical-marijuana providers a head start in getting business licenses. The measure also maintains existing prohibitions on youth use and driving while high. Critics worry it will open up television advertising to marijuana companies and goes too far in permitting people previously convicted of violent drug offenses to join the industry. Medical marijuana is widely available in California.