Article from Reason by Jacob Sullum.

In an interview with Roll Call this month, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) described Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s dismay upon hearing that voters in Utah seem set to approve medical marijuana when they go to the polls on November 6. “I said that even Utah is most likely going to legalize medical marijuana this year,” Gardner recalled. “McConnell looks and me, and he goes, ‘Utah?’ [He had] this terrified look. And as he says that, Orrin Hatch walks up, and Mitch looks at Orrin and says, ‘Orrin, is Utah really going to legalize marijuana?’ And Orrin Hatch folds his hands, looks down at his feet, and says, ‘First tea, then coffee, and now this.'”

Notwithstanding opposition from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, polls indicate that nearly two-thirds of Utah voters think patients should be able to use marijuana if their doctors recommend it. Prospects for medical marijuana look dimmer in Missouri, where surveys indicate weaker public support and voters will face a potentially confusing choice of three separate initiatives on the subject. It seems even less likely that North Dakota voters, who just two years ago approved medical marijuana by a surprisingly large margin, are ready to legalize recreational use. But recreational legalization seems to have a pretty good shot in Michigan.

Here is a rundown of those measures, plus an arcane Colorado initiative that could have a big impact on that state’s hemp industry.

Amendment X would remove from the state constitution the definition of industrial hemp that was added by Amendment 64, the 2012 initiative that legalized marijuana for recreational use. Colorado’s constitution currently defines industrial hemp, a nonpsychoative variety of cannabis that is used for fiber, food, cosmetics, and medicine, as “the plant of the genus cannabis and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed three-tenths percent on a dry weight basis.” Amendment X strikes that definition in favor of a statement that industrial hemp “has the same meaning as it is defined in federal law or as the term is defined in Colorado statute.”

Read the entire article at Reason.

Image Credit: By Chmee2 (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons