Marijuana, Minimum Wage and Abortion: How Last Night's Key Ballot Measures Did

Voters opted for change in their representatives and on social issues.


OREGON – MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION Oregon becomes the fourth state with full marijuana legalization, after Colorado and Washington last year, and joining Alaska Tuesday night. This also happens to be the third time Oregonians voted on pot legalization in their state, having rejected the ballot initiatives in 2012 and 2010. One of the reasons this attempt was successful may have been that voters aged 30-44 turned out at a slightly higher rate than those 65 or older. Residents will be able to possess eight ounces of marijuana at home and one ounce in public. But it won’t go into effect overnight: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will have until Jan. 1, 2016 to implement all necessary rules and procedures necessary to regulating marijuana in the state.

MINIMUM WAGE: Arkansas, Alaska, Nebraska, South Dakota Minimum wage measures are consistently popular with voters. In 2006, all seven measures on ballots around the country passed, as did a 2013 measure in New Jersey. So it’s no surprise that voters supported raising the minimum wage in all four states where that question was on the ballot this year. A fifth state, Illinois, also passed a minimum wage ballot, but that was only a way for voters to express their personal preference and was non-binding.


DEFEATS FLORIDA - MEDICAL MARIJUANA Florida needed to clear 60 percent for this constitutional amendment to pass and it came close with 58 percent, but no cigar (or… joint?) Obviously, it was a tougher sell because of that high bar. Also, the anti-medical marijuana camp spent most of the $4.7 million in TV ads that featured in the Sunshine State, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of Kantar Media/CMAG advertising data in late October. Plus, voters 45 and older far outnumbered younger voters, who were more likely to support broad medical marijuana legalization. There is already a more limited medical marijuana law on the books in Florida. This amendment would have broadened the number of types of legal medical marijuana.