Thursday, November 10, 2016

How states voted on gun control, recreational marijuana, religion, cigarette tax, hunting, more

Supporters of recreational marijuana in Maine
(Bangor Daily News photo by Troy Bennett)
Voters in Nevada, California and Washington "voted in favor of enhanced gun control, while Maine narrowly rejected universal background checks for private gun sales despite millions of dollars spent there by national gun control advocates," Josh Sanburn reports for Time.

In Nevada, "voters approved a similar measure to expand background checks to private gun sales and transfers," Sanburn writes. "California approved a measure that outlaws possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines, requires background checks for ammunition sales and allows the state to immediately remove firearms from people who have been convicted of a felony or violent misdemeanor. Washington state also approved a measure that allows judges to issue orders enabling authorities to temporarily seize guns from people who are deemed a threat to themselves or others."

Laws allowing recreational use of marijuana by adults passed in California, Massachusetts and Nevada but a similar measure failed to pass in Arizona. Voters in Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas approved medical marijuana initiatives, while "voters in in Montana also rolled back restrictions on an existing medical pot law," Christopher Ingraham reports for The Washington Post. In Maine, recreational marijuana passed by less than 1 percent of the vote, leading opponents to call for a recount, Darren Fishell and Michael Shepherd report for the Bangor Daily News.

In Oklahoma, voters rejected State Question 790, which "would have removed the restriction on using public money for religious purposes," reports the Tulsa World.

In Indiana, a right-to-hunt measure passed," Zach Osowski reports for The Indianapolis Star. "The amendment prohibits local governments from passing laws banning hunting or fishing; and empowers only the Indiana General Assembly to change laws governing hunting and fishing. It also stipulates that hunting is the preferred method for controlling wildlife populations."

Missouri voters defeated a measure to raise the state's very low cigarette tax, Joe Robertson reports for The Kansas City Star. "All of the attention was on Amendment 3, which began as a campaign to raise more than $300 million for early childhood health and education, but devolved into a tug-of-war between Big Tobacco and Little Tobacco, and was disfavored by major health and anti-tobacco institutions. Voters rejected the measure, 59 percent to 41 percent."

Colorado voters passed Amendment 71, which "will require any proposed amendment to the state constitution be signed off on by voters in each of the state’s 35 Senate districts," Blair Miller reports for The Denver Channel. There was fear that if passed, it could put an end to local attempts to ban hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas, by giving rural areas more leverage.

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