A greener America: Marijuana’s big statement in Election 2016

It looks like 2016 shaped out to be a “watershed” year for marijuana legalization.

Voters in five states — Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada — decided whether to legalize the recreational use of cannabis; and residents in four other states — Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota — weighed medical marijuana measures. As of midday Wednesday, it appeared at least seven of nine would be changing their marijuana laws.

In Maine, with 98 percent of precincts reporting as of 2:15 p.m. MST Wednesday, the recreational marijuana measure showed a slight edge in favor with 50.2 percent (376,123 votes) and 49.7 percent in opposition (372,936 votes), the Associated Press reported. The Bangor Daily-News had reported early Wednesday that the measure was successful with results from 90 percent of precincts.

California’s Proposition 64 recreational marijuana measure, viewed as a linchpin for marijuana measures in this election passed, according to the Associated Press. The measure had 4,952,476 votes for, or 56 percent, to 3,920,303 votes against, or 44 percent, with 99 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Massachusetts’ recreational measure also passed, according to the Associated Press, as the state became the first on the East Coast to legalize adult use of marijuana with 54 percent in favor.

And Nevada voters passed Question No. 2, which legalized adult-use sales in the Silver State. More than 54 percent of voters favored the measure.

As for the medical measures, Florida was the first to turn green, with medical marijuana Amendment 2 garnering more than 71 percent of the vote.

North Dakota was second, with 64 percent of voters favoring medical marijuana statutory measure No. 5.

As the night progressed, Arkansas became the first state in the Bible Belt to legalize the medical use of marijuana with 53 percent of votes in favor of Issue 6.

In Montana, with 98 percent of precincts reporting, the measure to expand the state’s medical marijuana laws passed with 264,261 votes for, or 57 percent, and 199,425 votes against, or 42 percent, according to the AP.

But the night was not a clean sweep for the nine measures.

Arizona’s highly contested Proposition 205 recreational marijuana measure failed, with 983,535 votes against, or 52 percent, to 902,360 votes for, or 48 percent, with 99 percent of precincts reporting.