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7 States Most Likely to Legalize Weed This November

Russ Belville

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This November, a record 10 states will be voting on either medical marijuana or marijuana legalization for adults. Judging by the latest polls, it looks like we will win most of the votes.

Let’s start with marijuana legalization. If the election were held today, at least three out of five states would pass their legalization initiatives.

California–Strong Win (64 percent)
The most recent polling in California was conducted August 17 by UC Berkeley’s Institute for Government Studies. They found that 63.8 percent of respondents supported legalization, a level of support that hasn’t budged since last year’s poll.

Maine–Solid Win (55 percent)
Polling is scarce in Maine, but the May 12 Critical Insights tracking poll found that 55 percent of respondents support the legalization initiative, with just 41 percent who opposed it. When asked if they support legalization in general, the support rose to 59 percent, with just 35 percent opposed.

Nevada–Narrow Win (50 percent)
Polling from July 26 by KTNV-TV 13 Action News/Rasmussen Reports found that 50 percent of the voters would support legalization, while 41 percent of voters would vote no. However, billionaire Sheldon Adelson recently purchased the Las Vegas Review-Tribune newspaper and flipped their support for legalization to opposition. If he begins spending big ad dollars against legalization, this state could reject it.

Arizona–Solid Loss (43 percent)
Polling released on July 21 from Data Orbital found that 43 percent of Arizonans would approve legalization, while 49 percent would reject it. This poll, however, was commissioned by the opposition of the legalization initiative. Last December, Arizona State University’s polling showed 51 percent against legalization, with 49 percent in support.

Massachusetts–Solid Loss (41 percent)
Polling from July 13 by Gravis Marketing for Jobs First found that 51 percent plan to vote against legalization, while 41 percent said they would support it. Jobs First is a conservative PAC; however, polling in May from the Boston Globe also found voters opposed to legalization at 46 percent versus 43 percent who’d support legalization.

Now on to medical marijuana. If the election was held today, we’d get at least three wins and possibly a clean sweep.

Oklahoma–Strong Win (71 percent)
Polling is scarce on medical marijuana in Oklahoma, but a 2013 SoonerPoll found that 71.2 percent supported the idea of “joining [then] twenty other states who now have laws allowing seriously ill patients to possess marijuana for medical purposes.” Even 68 percent of Oklahoma’s Republicans agree with medical marijuana.

Florida–Solid Win (80 percent)
Numerous polls have now put the Florida medical marijuana amendment above the 60 percent mark it needs to win. In May, Quinnipiac found that a whopping 80 percent of respondents supported the medical marijuana amendment. The lowest level of support in any poll this year is a March News 13/BayNews9 poll showing 61 percent.

Arkansas–Solid Win (58 percent), But…
A June 29 poll from Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College found that 58 percent of voters supported the proposed medical marijuana initiative. Only 34 percent are against the measure. However, a second medical marijuana initiative has been granted a 30-day extension to get its measure on the ballot, potentially splitting the vote between the two.

North Dakota–Narrow Win (47 percent)
The most recent poll we can find from North Dakota was run on October 17, 2014, by the University of North Dakota’s College of Business and Public Administration. It found that 47 percent supported medical marijuana and 41 percent opposed it.

Montana–Anybody’s Guess
Montana already has a medical marijuana program, but in 2011, their legislature gutted it. Initiative 182 would remove the three-patient-per-caregiver limit, allow reimbursement for medicine and end auditing of doctors who recommend for more than 25 patients. We can find no polling online for the initiative.

I think winning at least six out of the 10 initiatives is a safe bet for 2016. There are initiatives in Missouri and Michigan still fighting to make the ballot as well. November 8 will be a landmark day for marijuana reform. I hope you’ll join me for my live coverage on Marijuana Election Night 2016, streaming on CannabisRadio.com.

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