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1998 State Medical Marijuana Election Results

This page contains a summary of the results of state medical marijuana votes from the November 1998 election. Also included are links to the full texts of each of the measures.

According to the numbers Medical Marijuana has scored more victories in the U.S.; Nevada, Washington State, Colorado, and Alaska have all approved measures which allow doctors to prescribe marijuana in some cases. In Washington DC, the federal Congress has blocked the initiative there, by stopping the elections commission from announcing the results of the vote. Several of the measures are being challenged in one way or another (legal suits or legislative acts).

In Arizona Proposition 300 failed. If passed, proposition 300 would have severely limited the medical marijuana proposition 200 which passed 2 years ago. Some sources refer to this year's proposition 300 as a failed "medical marijuana" proposition. By defeating this proposition, Arizonans are standing by the original proposition passed in 1996.

Since 1996, the Arizona legislature has tried to enact restrictions which would effectively negate proposition 200. There was a second proposition this year, prop 301 which also failed, which would have reinstated some of the drug sentencing sections of 1996's prop 200. The status of medical marijuana in Arizona is quite unclear and will probably be battled out in the courts.

Oregon's Measure 67 is a medical marijuana initiative which will allow limited medical use and create a state controlled permitting system. Oregon proposition 57 would have increased the penalty for possession of cannabis, this failed.

The final results are:

AlaskaBallot 8passed (good)57.75% 42.25%
ArizonaProposition 300failed (good)42.6% 57.4%
ArizonaProposition 301failed (good)48.5% 51.5%
ColoradoAmendment 19passed (good)57% 43%
NevadaBallot Measure 9passed (good)57.83% 40.78%
OregonBallot Measure 67passed (good) 54% 46%
Oregonrecrim Measure 57failed (good) 34% 46%
Washington D.C.Measure 59supressed ? ?
Washington StateBallot Measure 692passed (good)58.76% 41.24%

Also see:
DRCNet - Overview of election
DC Initiative 59 comments

Alaska -- Ballot Measure 8


This bill would allow patients to use marijuana for certain medical purposes. A doctor must find that the patient has a debilitating medical condition that might benefit from marijuana. An eligible minor could use medical marijuana only under the consent and control of a parent. There would be limits on how much medical marijuana a patient could possess. Patients and their primary care-givers who comply with this law would not be guilty of a crime. The state would create a confidential registry of patients who may use medical marijuana. Non-medical use of marijuana would still be a crime.

Should this initiative become law?

Colorado -- Amendment 19

Analysis and arguments for and against

Colorado Amendment 19:

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution:

allows patients diagnosed with a serious illness and their care-givers to legally possess marijuana for medical purposes. Care-givers could determine dosage strength and frequency of use;
allows individuals charged with possession or use of marijuana to defend themselves on the grounds that they are in legal possession for medical purposes;
establishes an exception to the state's criminal laws for physicians to provide written recommendations, other than a prescription, for patients to use marijuana for medical purposes;
requires the Governor to identify a state agency to establish a confidential state registry of patients and their care-givers who are permitted to possess marijuana for medical purposes;
allows possession of two ounces of usable marijuana and six marijuana plants, and provides an exception to those limits if medically necessary; prohibits the medical use of marijuana by patients less than 18 years of age except under certain conditions;
provides that distribution of marijuana by anyone would still be illegal; provides that health insurance companies do not have to reimburse patients for the medical use of marijuana; and
allows employers to prohibit the medical use of marijuana in the workplace.

Arguments for and against

Shall the Nevada Constitution be amended to allow the possession and use of a plant of the genus Cannabis (marijuana) for the treatment or alleviation of certain illnesses upon advice of a physician, to require parental consent for such use by minors, and to authorize appropriate methods of supply to patients authorized to use it?

Oregon -- Measure 67

Requires medical use be necessary to mitigate symptoms, effects of debilitating medical condition, including cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, HIV, multiple sclerosis, others. Establishes state permit system requiring physician's written proof. Within specified limitations, exempts permit holder or applicant from marijuana criminal statutes; authorizes criminal charge defense for medical use without permit. Limits amounts of usable marijuana, number of plants that may be possessed. Other provisions.

Washington -- Ballot Measure 692

Complete Text of Initiative 692
Explanatory Statements

This measure would authorize the use of marijuana to treat patients with certain terminal or debilitating illnesses, including: cancer; HIV virus (AIDS); multiple sclerosis; epilepsy or other seizure disorders; spasticity disorders; glaucoma; pain which is not relieved by standard medical treatments and medications; and other medical conditions approved by the state medical quality assurance board. These patients would be defined as "qualifying patients". Licensed physicians would be exempted from criminal laws or other penalties for advising qualifying patients about the risks and benefits of marijuana use. Physicians could lawfully provide documentation, based on the physician's assessment of the qualifying patient's medical history and medical condition, that the potential benefits of the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks for that patient. Qualifying patients and their primary caregivers would be authorized to acquire and possess marijuana if they possessed no more than a sixty day supply for the patient's personal, medical use and if they could present valid documentation of authorization by a physician. Parents or guardians could possess marijuana solely for the medical use of qualifying patients under eighteen years of age.

The measure would not authorize the acquisition, possession, or use of marijuana for any other purpose. Possession, sale, or use of marijuana for non-medical purposes would remain a crime. It would be a felony to fraudulently produce or to alter any documents relating to the medical use of marijuana. It would be a misdemeanor to use or display medical marijuana in public view. Health insurance providers would not be required to pay claims for the medical use of marijuana. No physician would be required to authorize the use of medical marijuana. The measure would not require the accommodation of any medical use of marijuana in any place of employment, school bus or school grounds, or youth center. No person would be authorized to engage in the medical use of marijuana in such a way as to endanger the health or well-being of any person through the use of a motorized vehicle on a street, road, or highway. The state could not be held liable for any damaging effects from permitted marijuana use.

Washington D.C. -- Measure 59

In an unbelievable move, the federal congress has blocked the voter initiative in Washington D.C. by demanding that theBoard of Elections count but not announce the results of the Medical Marijuana voter measure 59.

Press Release of Legislative Preemptive Strike (local version)