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My Ruminations

"All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason."

My ruminations is a blog where I am dedicated to reasoning through the plethora of information that is gathered around the internet.

Gay Marriage and Marijuana

Ballot Issues 2012

 

 On Tuesday, all around the country various states were voting for more than just who would become President.

Two major ballot issues that made headlines across the nation were the legalizing of marijuana and gay marriage.

Gay Marriage

In three states marriage equality for homosexuals were on the ballot: Maine, Maryland, and Washington.

Minnesota had a ballot measure that would define marriage as being only between a man and a woman.

All three states passed marriage equality ballots and Minnesota rejected the ballot’s definition of marriage.    

Results were as followed:

Maine: Do you want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?

Result

Votes

Percentage

 

YES

 

345,134

 

52.58%

No

333,026

47.42%

Maryland: Establishes that Maryland’s civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license…

Result

Votes

Percentage

 

YES

 

1,273,418

 

51.9%

No

1,179,552

48.1%

Minnesota: Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota.

Result

Votes

Percentage

Yes

1,400,805

47.66%

 

NO

 

1,507,308

 

52.34%

Washington: This bill would allow same-sex couples to marry…

Result

Votes

Percentage

 

YES

 

1,475,374

 

53.15%

NO

1,300,519

46.85%

This is a monumental victory for marriage equality. This election cycle is the first time ever that gay marriage has been legalized through popular referendum.

Since the 1990’s 32 states have held votes on whether or not same-sex marriage should be legalized and each time the measures have been rejected.

This election has signified that voters no longer stigmatize same-sex marriage and feel homosexuals deserve to have equal rights in getting married. 

It should be noted that although same-sex marriage has been legalized in three states, the states will not force any religious institution to perform gay marriages.

Marijuana

Another big ballot measure that was being voted on across the country was the legalization of marijuana.

Marijuana was on ballots in Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington.

Every state except Oregon passed the Marijuana ballot measures.

Colorado and Washington legalized recreational use of marijuana, while Massachusetts legalized the use of medical marijuana.

Colorado: Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning marijuana, and, in connection therewith, providing for the regulation of marijuana; permitting a person twenty-one years of age or older to consume or possess limited amounts of marijuana…

Result

Votes

Percentage

 

YES

 

1,307,728

 

54.92%

No

1,073,430

45.08%

Massachusetts:

A YES VOTE would enact the proposed law eliminating state criminal and civil penalties related to the medical use of marijuana, allowing patients meeting certain conditions to obtain marijuana produced and distributed by new state-regulated centers or, in specific hardship cases, to grow marijuana for their own use.

A NO VOTE would make no change in existing laws.

Result

Votes

Percentage

 

YES

 

1,808,947

 

63%

No

1,047,778

37%

 

Oregon:

Allows personal marijuana, hemp cultivation/use without license; commission to regulate commercial marijuana cultivation/sale

Result

Votes

Percentage

Yes

757,023

46.31%

 

NO

 

877,553

 

53.69%

 

Washington:

The proposed measure would legalize the production, possession, delivery and distribution of marijuana. 

Result

Votes

Percentage

 

YES

 

1,540,928

 

55.44%

No

1,238,386

44.56%

 

This is another pivotal point in American history, it shows that a large percentage of people no longer believe in the War on Drugs in regards to marijuana. 

It is estimated that with Colorado legalizing recreational use of marijuana the state could bring in anywhere between $5 million and $22 million a year, while also projecting between $1.4 million and $2.4 in prison savings.

Needless to say Colorado and Washington are expecting to see a decent amount of revenue brought in from taxation of the substance.

The main issue that now stands in the way for these two states is the federal government. It is still illegal under federal law to use marijuana and federal law precedes state law.

The federal government is making no comments at the moment in regards to Colorado and Washington legalizing recreational use of marijuana.

Overall, the ballot measures passed in 2012 are historical in many ways. It shows how the nation as a whole is progressing and changing.

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