Florida voters approve medicinal marijuana – AL.com
Floridians voted decisively to legalize marijuana for medical purposes as voters across the nation decided ballot measures addressing an array of volatile issues. Eight other states were considering expanding legal access to pot. Others were voting on gun control and the death penalty.
In all, there were more than 150 measures appearing on statewide ballots. California led the pack with 17 ballot questions, including one that would require actors in porn movies to wear condoms during filming of sexual intercourse. Another would ban single-use plastic grocery bags.
California was among five states — along with Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada — voting on whether to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Arkansas and North Dakota, as well as Florida, were deciding whether to permit marijuana for medical purposes. Montanans voted on whether to ease restrictions on an existing medical marijuana law.
The measure in Florida, a constitutional amendment that needed more than 60 percent support to prevail, makes the state the first in the South with a full-scale medical marijuana program.
Collectively, it was the closest the U.S. has ever come to a national referendum on marijuana.
If “yes” votes prevail across the board, more than 23 percent of the U.S. population will live in states where recreational pot is legal. The jurisdictions where that’s already the case — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington state and the District of Columbia — have less than 6 percent of the population.
Another hot-button issue — gun control — was on the ballot in four states, including California, which already has some of the nation’s toughest gun-related laws. Proposition 63 would outlaw possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines, require permits to buy ammunition and extend California’s unique program that allows authorities to seize firearms from owners who bought guns legally but are no longer allowed