If ballot measures are a reliable indicator of what a country cares about, America has been thinking a lot about pot: Various degrees of marijuana legalization are on the ballot in no fewer than nine states, in an election that features 162 ballot measures, 72 of which were citizen initiatives. Some of the major measures, including votes on death, guns, and taxes:
- In votes that the Guardian notes could turn the west green instead of blue or red, California, Arizona, and Nevada will be voting on legalizing marijuana for recreational use, as are Massachusetts and Maine. Florida, Arkansas, Montana, and North Dakota will be voting on allowing medical marijuana.
- In California, ballot measures include Prop 62, which would get rid of the death penalty, and the competing Prop 66, which would speed up executions. NBC San Diego reports that many voters say they are confused by the choice. If both propositions pass, the one with the most votes will prevail. Nebraska, meanwhile, is voting on whether to restore the death penalty, which was abolished by state lawmakers last year.
- The Wall Street Journal reports that gun control measures including expanding background checks are on the ballot in California, Nevada, Maine, and Washington—and polls show the initiatives are set to succeed in all four states.
- ln California, pharmaceutical companies have spent tens of millions trying to defeat Prop 61, which seeks to limit prescription drug costs by tying state government spending to the prices negotiated by the VA, the Los Angeles Times reports. Tobacco companies have spent heavily to fight the state's Prop 56, which would add a $2-per-pack cigarette tax.
- Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Washington are voting whether to raise the minimum wage to above $7.25, while South Dakotans are deciding whether to drop it from $8.50 back to $7.25 for people under 18.
- Indiana and Kansas are voting on whether to add the right to hunt and fish to their state constitutions. WBAA notes that 18 other states have added similar amendments over the last 20 years, while Vermont added its back in 1777.
- Yet another California ballot initiative is one of the nation's most unusual: NPR reports that Prop 60 would require the use of condoms in porn, and would require producers to pay for STD testing.
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