High point for pot, not so much for environmental causes

Charles Fain Lehman of the Washington Free Beacon reports on interesting ballot initiatives across the country.

At the polls Tuesday night, Americans in 37 states voted up and down on 155 ballot initiatives, with big wins for legal marijuana but losses for environmentalist proposals.

Nearly 60 percent of Michiganders voted to legalize marijuana statewide, becoming the 10th to do so. The new law will permit adults age 21 and up to own up to 2.5 ounces and households to grow up to 12 plants. People will likely be able to smoke legally starting next month, after the results are certified.

Utah and Missouri voters also backed marijuana initiatives, becoming the 32nd and 33rd states in the union to establish medical marijuana regimes. …

… In what may signal a blow to Republican hopes to repeal Obamacare, three right-leaning states voted to accept Medicaid expansion. Voters in Utah, Idaho, and Nebraska all accepted expanded federal funding, which CNBC estimated would extend coverage to a total of just over 300,000 people in the three states combined. Thirty-six states have now expanded, making its position as a provision of the Affordable Care Act even harder for congressional Republicans to assail.

Tuesday night was mostly a losing evening for eco-focused ballot initiatives, and by extension for billionaire and anti-Trump agitator Tom Steyer. Steyer poured millions into Nevada’s question six—which passed—and Arizona’s proposition 127—which failed. Both proposals would have required electric utilities to generate at least half their energy from renewable sources by 2030.

Eco-warriors saw an even bigger defeat in Colorado where, even as Democrats cruised to victory in Congress and the governor’s mansion, voters resoundingly shot down proposition 112, which would have banned oil drilling in most of the state. And in solidly blue Washington State, voters still saw fit to reject Initiative 1631, which would have imposed a fee on CO2 emissions in the state.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

Reader Comments