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Taxes, heroin and statehood: a snapshot of this year’s voting measures

Yes Measure 110 past, Oregon will be the first state to decriminalize small amounts of drugs such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. Under the bill, drug possession would be classified as an offense, similar to a ticket for not wearing a seat belt. Backed by singer John Legend and the Oregon Democratic Party, among others, the law would also establish a drug treatment fund that would be funded through marijuana taxes.

Oregon Measure 109 would legalize psilocybin, the psychedelic mushroom, for people aged 21 and over. “Research at top US universities shows that psilocybin therapy can help people with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse,” said Democratic Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon.

Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota all will vote on measures that will legalize, tax and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older. South Dakota is also voting on a measure that proposes to legalize medical cannabis, as is Mississippi.

If all of the marijuana measures are passed, cannabis will be legal for medical purposes in 36 states and for recreational purposes in 15.

The official name of Rhode Island is the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Rhode Island Question 1 would remove the second half. Voters already had a chance at this in a poll ten years ago and rejected the change. But state Democrats are now counting on the momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement to approve the measure this time around. “This old festering sore has yet to be healed,” said State Senator Harold M. Metts, Democrat and co-sponsor of the measure.

In Mississippi, Voting measure 3 calls on voters to approve a new state flag with red, yellow and blue stripes, a magnolia flower and the words “In God We Trust”. The state’s previous flag, which dated to 1894 and contained a Confederate battle cross, was decommissioned by lawmakers in June. If the new flag is rejected by voters, it comes back to the drawing board.