At a glance: Marijuana ballot questions

FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2010 file photo, marijuana plants flourish under grow lights at a warehouse in Denver. A marijuana-legalization question is one of only three questions up for a public vote statewide, and the other two have attracted little interest. One is a campaign-finance question that has no force of law, and the other is a revision to little-understood employee protections for state employees. The light ballot is unusual for a state where it’s easy to petition onto ballots. Both sides of the marijuana debate say the issue is the biggest non-presidential question to go before a statewide voter audience. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)

Voters in six states on Nov. 6 will decide the fate of ballot questions addressing one of the most closely watched issues in the country: the regulation and use of marijuana.

Arkansas
If voters say “yes” to the measure on the Arkansas ballot, the state will become the first in the South to legalize marijuana for medicinal use. The Coalition to Preserve Arkansas Values battled the question, saying it did not clearly communicate the consequences of enacting such a measure, but the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled the initiative was clear enough for voters to make an informed decision.

If approved, the measure would allow people with certain ailments determined by the state Department of Health to purchase and carry marijuana and grow it themselves, with a limit of six plants per person.

Colorado
Marijuana is already legal for approved medical use in Colorado, and now voters are being asked to take another step. On Election Day, Coloradans will determine whether the drug should be taxed and made legal for recreational use.

If approved, the law will allow the sale of marijuana to people over the age of 21.

Massachusetts
Massachusetts voters will face a referendum similar to the one on the Arkansas ballot, in that it would eliminate criminal and civil penalties for the medical use of marijuana for qualified patients. The law would allow patients to have a 60-day supply for use, an amount determined by the state Department of Public Health.

It would not, however, offer immunity under existing federal laws for non-medical use. In addition, approved users would not be allowed to operate cars or other machinery while under the influence of marijuana.

Montana
Montana has gone back and forth with medical marijuana legalization. In 2004, residents voted to allow patients with debilitating medical conditions to purchase and use medical marijuana.

But, in 2011, the state Senate passed legislation that places regulations on those who sell, apply for or use the drug. Now, Montana will vote to affirm or toss out the Senate-approved regulations.

Oregon
A ballot measure in Oregon would create the Oregon Cannabis Commission, which would be in charge of licensing marijuana growers, packagers and stores, collecting fees for licenses issued and setting standards on the quality and potency of marijuana sold, among other things.

If approved, the measure, which resembles the one in Colorado, would allow recreational use of the drug, but would also put in place new penalties for public consumption in non-permitted areas and the illegal sale of the drug.

Washington
Washington state voters will face a ballot measure that, if approved, would allow the sale of recreational marijuana to people over the age of 21. It would also allow growing, distribution and possession of marijuana with an appropriate license.

Washington residents would be able to apply for a retail license to sell marijuana by paying $250, and it would cost $1,000 every year to keep a license. Restrictions would be placed on how close the stores can be to schools, playgrounds and parks.

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