2018 was another historic year of victories for sensible marijuana policy reforms on the ballot. Four states, Michigan, Utah, Missouri, and North Dakota, voted on major proposals in the general election, while Oklahoma approved a medical marijuana measure in their June primary. Thirty-three states (plus D.C.) have now adopted compassionate medical marijuana laws, while 11 states have legalized marijuana for adult use. Voters in municipalities across Wisconsin and Ohio also had the opportunity to weigh in on a range of marijuana-related advisory questions. Overall, the results represent significant and impressive progress for the movement to end marijuana prohibition! More details about the results are provided below.
By a 56% - 44% margin, Michigan voters approved Proposal 1, the initiative to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use. Led by MPP and the local Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, Prop 1’s victory shows that sweeping marijuana policy reform efforts can overcome well-funded opposition campaigns and prevail all over the country. This win in the Midwest marks a major milestone and sets the stage for future reform efforts in the region. Read a summary of the new law here.
Despite significant opposition from the Church of Latter Day Saints and other influential state organizations, Utah voters passed Proposition 2, an initiative to legalize medical marijuana, 52% - 48%. MPP played a central role in drafting the initiative and then subsequently helped fund and guide the campaign to victory. The Utah Patients Coalition showed the country that medical marijuana is supported by a majority of the electorate, even in more socially conservative states. Legislators are expected to amend the law — but have promised to establish a compassionate and functional system. Stay up-to-date on Utah’s progress here.
In an impressive feat, grassroots activists succeeded in putting an adult-use legalization initiative on the ballot this year. Unfortunately, Measure 3 was ultimately defeated 59% - 41%. Despite being significantly outspent by prohibitionist opposition groups, the Yes on 3 campaign put up a remarkable fight and laid the foundation for future reform efforts. Keep track of North Dakota’s progress on our page here.
Missourians voted on three different medical marijuana proposals this year. Amendment 2, endorsed by MPP and many other advocacy groups, passed with 66% in favor and 34% opposed. The remaining initiatives — Amendment 3 and Proposition C — failed 69% - 31% and 56% - 44%, respectively. Patient applications will be made available in 2019, and dispensaries are expected to open by early 2020. Get Missouri marijuana policy updates here.
On June 26, 2018, Oklahoma voters made their state the 30th to legalize medical marijuana! Nearly 57% of voters supported the compassionate measure — State Question 788. You can read a summary of the measure here. Regulators are now implementing the law, and as of August 25, the health department is accepting patient applications. Get more updates on Oklahoma's medical marijuana program.
Local Ballot Initiatives
Over a million voters in Wisconsin approved non-binding marijuana policy reform proposals in the 2018 Election. Over half the state’s population saw marijuana-related measures on their ballots, and every one of them passed. Medical marijuana questions received between 67% and 89% support in the 11 counties and two cities where they appeared. Adult-use questions earned between 60% and 76% of the vote.
Voters in five out of six Ohio counties with marijuana decriminalization questions approved them. Dayton, Fremont, Norwood, Oregon, and Windham all passed marijuana reform measures, while Garretsville was the only county to reject. Passage of these initiatives will not effect state law but can provide greater protections for marijuana consumers at the local level.
To see the actual questions voters saw on their ballots on November 6, 2018, click here.