OAKLAND, California – The march to de-identify drugs continued across the country on Tuesday despite continued federal bans.
Oregon became the first state to classify small amounts of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs. And in New Jersey and Arizona, voters have decisively passed legislation that legalized recreational marijuana. Cannabis is currently legal in many major Western states – from Washington to the Mexican border – and beyond.
Cannabis was also on the ballot in Montana, Mississippi and South Dakota. If all marijuana remedies are passed, the marijuana would be legal for medical use in thirty states and recreational use would be allowed after 15.
Oregon’s action will make possession of small amounts of what has long been considered a drug more an offense, similar to a traffic ticket and no longer imprisonment. The law will also fund drug addiction treatment from the cannabis sales tax.
“This is unbelievable,” said Kassandra Frederique, executive director of the Alliance for Drug Policy advocacy group. “This is like taking a sledgehammer as the foundation of the war on drugs.”
Owning a larger amount can lead to misdemeanors, and in some cases up to what is considered a commercial level can still be charged as a felony.
Ms. Frederique said the passage of the bill shows voters are eager for a new approach to drug policy to treat it as a health issue and prioritize treatment. She says she expects other states to follow suit, mentioning efforts in states like California, Vermont and Washington.
In addition, Oregon voters also legalized psilocybin, called the magic mushroom, for people 21 and older. Proponents say the move will allow the drug to be used to treat depression, anxiety, and other conditions.
Even in a year when the number of civic initiatives in states across the country has plummeted compared with the past presidential election, the diverse measures offer an opportunity to gauge the mind. state of the country.
In Florida, where the two presidential candidates are a few points apart, voters have passed a pro-labor amendment in the Constitution that will raise the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour by 2026.
Florida becomes the eighth state to issue a minimum wage of $ 15, according to the National Conference of State Legislators, but the first state that Donald J. Trump made in the general election. The District of 2016. The District of Columbia also issued a minimum wage of $ 15.
Florida’s measure, known as Amendment 2, won a place in Tuesday’s vote last December and needed at least 60 percent of the votes to pass. With 99 percent of the votes counted, the measure has a little more than 61 percent.
Under this measure, the state minimum wage will increase from its current level of $ 8.56 to $ 10 by next September, and then by $ 1 each September through 2026. Then , the annual increase will be associated with inflation.
Here’s a guide to The Times election night news, no matter when, how or how often you want to use it.
- If you just want results … There will be a map of results on the homepage of The Times and yes, the infamous spin will return – but only for Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina, the only states that provide enough insight for the Our experts make educated guesses about the untold votes.
- If you want continuous updates … Journalists are blogging day and night. This will be your only place to stay up to date every minute: race calls, field reports from rotation states, news of any voting issues or interruptions, etc.
- If you want to check it often … Times journalists are also producing a live recap from around 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. ET, with an overview of what’s going on in the presidential race, the Senate race. and the House of Representatives as well as the voting process.
A study by the Florida Institute of Policy, a consulting group advocating for wage increases, found that higher wages directly benefit 2.5 million workers in the state.
The amendment was endorsed by unions and the Miami-Dade Democrats and opposed by business organizations representing construction companies, citrus farmers, hotels, and restaurants.
In Louisiana, a measure favored by two anti-abortion Democrats, Governor John Bel Edwards and State Senator Katrina Jackson, was comfortably passed. Amendment 1 would add these words to the State Constitution: “Nothing in this constitution can be construed to guarantee or protect abortion rights, or require funding for abortion.”
In Mississippi, voters approved a new state flag with red, yellow and blue stripes, a magnolia flower and the words “We believe in God”. The state’s former flag, dating from 1894 and featuring the combat cross of the Southern Union, was decommissioned by lawmakers in June.
Two measures in California were won by supporters of criminal justice reform, including former Gov. Jerry Brown. Voters have rejected Proposition 20, which would undo previous measures that allowed people convicted of certain felony counts to be considered for early parole. And voters passed Proposition 17, which would restore the right to vote for pardoned offenders. In Oklahoma, voters went the other way, dismissing Question 805, a measure that would have banned the use of a person’s past nonviolent felony convictions to impose an elevated sentence for another nonviolent felony.
There were 38 statewide citizenship initiatives decided nationally on Tuesday, half the level of the last presidential election, when there were 72. Experts say the decline is due to effect of the coronavirus, making the signature collection more difficult. When all measures are agreed, including those placed on ballot by the legislatures, there are a total of 124 voting initiatives statewide this year, down from 154 a.m. ants of four years ago.
Mike Baker and Noam Scheiber Contribution reports.