Marijuana, Condoms and Guns: The Other Side of the Election Ballot
On Nov. 8, the country watched as president-elect Donald Trump surpassed Hillary Clinton in the electoral college. While many found themselves upset and others elated on the presidential election, other key issues captivated voters that night, with a plethora of interesting and important issues for citizens in many states.
Here are some things you may not have known were on the election ballot:
California, for example, had on the ballot Proposition 60; the issue would demand that creators of adult films provide condoms for performers. Fifty-four percent of voters voted it down, as it would cost California millions of dollars.
Former Wittenberg student Daniel Mason, ‘16, moved to California after graduation, and voted “no” because of the cost.
“I voted ‘no’ because it was going to take taxpayer money to do it,” he said. “I thought that [the issue being on the ballot] was insane. I never thought in all my years I would see that.”
In California, voters decided on whether or not to put an end to the death penalty. This is the second time in four years that this issue has been on California’s ballot. However, much to opposers’ dismay, the proposition was turned down again.
In California, Nevada, Washington and Maine, citizens voted on enacting gun laws; California and Nevada voted “yes” to prohibit possession of large capacity weapons, but voted “no” to requiring background checks on purchasing ammunition. Washington voted “yes” to allowing judges to temporarily remove weapons from the hands of those who pose a danger to themselves and others. Maine, on the other hand, voted “no” to require background checks when purchasing guns.
In California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada and Arizona, citizens voted on the legalization of recreational marijuana. In Arkansas, North Dakota, Montana and Florida, voters decided on issues regarding medical marijuana.
California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada all voted “yes” to legalize recreational marijuana, while Arizona had a 51 percent “no” vote. The race to legalize recreational marijuana in Maine was the closest, winning by a little over 2,500 votes. Massachusetts was the first state on the east coast to legalize the use of recreational marijuana.
As for medical marijuana, all four states voted “yes.” This now means that 20 states and the District of Columbia have some form of legalized marijuana. Colorado is the first state to have dispensaries for the purchase of marijuana for persons over the age of 21.
“It’s useful for many medical ailments like cancer and glaucoma,” said sophomore D’Anthony Dorsey, a pharmacy major and Florida native, who voted “yes” to medical marijuana. “It dulls the pain.”
Americans in five states voted on a variety of minimum wage issues. Arizona, Colorado and Maine enacted laws to raise the minimum wage to $12/hour by 2020, with Arizona requiring paid time off. In Washington, voters initiated a $13.50/hour wage implementation by 2020. Lastly, voters in South Dakota denied the legislation’s attempt to lower the minimum wage to $7.50/hour, and it will remain at the current minimum wage of $8.50/hour for persons under 18 years of age.