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Pot regulation, usage pass in several state elections

The regulation and usage of recreational and medicinal marijuana made strides in several U.S. states on Election Day, but was firmly rejected by Nebraska voters.

In Michigan, State Proposal – 18-1 to regulate marijuana like alcohol passed with 55% of 3.5 million votes cast in favor of the proposal, according to the election results posted on the Michigan secretary of state’s website. The proposal would allow individuals 21 and older to purchase, possess and use marijuana and marijuana‑infused edibles. It also would create a state licensing system for marijuana businesses and allow municipalities to ban or restrict them, among other things.

Michigan became the 10th state to legalize the possession and use of recreational marijuana for adults.

“Voters in Michigan sent a resounding rebuke to their state’s failed policy of prohibition and elected to follow a new, more sensible path of regulation and legalization,” Erik Altieri, executive director of marijuana legalization advocacy group NORML, said in a statement on Tuesday.

But Nebraska voters rejected a measure to legalize the cultivation, possession, use and distribution of marijuana for individuals aged 21 years or older, with 59.5% of a total of 324,550 votes cast against the proposal, according to the election results posted on the Nebraska secretary of state’s website.

Missouri became the 32nd state to regulate medical marijuana after voters adopted one of three competing ballot measures seeking to regulate medical cannabis use in the state. According to election results posted on the Missouri secretary of state’s website, 65.5% of the 2,399,369 votes were in favor of the Amendment 2.

“This is a patient-centered proposal that puts power in the hands of state-licensed physicians and their patients, not politicians or bureaucrats,” Justin Strekal, NORML political director, said in the statement. “Passage of Amendment 2 creates a robust statewide system for production and sale of medical cannabis.”

Meanwhile, Utah voters adopted Proposition 2, which received 53.2% of 760,224 of the votes cast, according to the state’s lieutenant governor, which oversees elections in the state. The proposition regulates the licensed production and distribution of medical cannabis products to qualified patients who possess a physician’s recommendation.