New York, Nov 4 (efe-epa).- The focus of the elections in the United States is naturally heaped on the race for the White House but citizens are also asked to cast votes on state proposals, which this year ranged from the decriminalization of drugs to the voting age.
Here is a selection of eight proposals voted on this year:
1.- NEW JERSEY AND ARIZONA LEGALIZE MARIJUANA
New Jerseyans voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for people over 21 as well as the cultivation and retail sale of the plant. The measure was backed by 67% of voters. New Jersey joins a growing list of states where marijuana is legal. The substance remains illegal at a federal level.
In Arizona, 60% of voters were in favor of legalizing recreational use and possession of the drug in a proposal that would also allow citizens to grow up to six plants on their property.
2.- WASHINGTON D.C., OREGON, SUPPORT DECRIMINALIZATION OF PSYCHEDELICS
Washington D.C. wants to relax drug penalties by effectively decriminalizing the cultivation, distribution and possession of psychedelic mushrooms and similar plants for personal use. The proposal was backed by 77% of voters.
Oregon, in the northwest of the US, also voted to legalize the purchase, possession and consumption of psychedelic plants for therapeutic use, a measure that was backed by 56% of voters.
3.- OREGON SUPPORTS DECRIMINALIZING COCAINE, HEROIN POSSESSION
Oregon also became the first state to decriminalize the possession of hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, oxycontin and methamphetamines, a move designed to boost a rehabilitative rather than criminal approach to drug laws.
The measure would re-class the possession of small quantities of such drugs as a civil offense punishable with a small fine.
4.- CALIFORNIA BLOCKS AMENDMENT TO LOWER VOTING AGE
Californians decided to vote against a proposal to allow 17-year-olds to cast their vote in primaries, a measure that would only have been legal if said voter turned 18 before the corresponding presidential election. Some 54% of voters blocked it.
5.- CALIFORNIA BACKS RESTORATION OF VOTING RIGHTS TO FORMER FELONS
Voters in the Golden State did, however, lend their backing to Proposition 17, which restores the right to vote for those who have finished serving a prison sentence.
6.- ONLY CITIZENS CAN VOTE, SAYS ALABAMA
The southern state of Alabama overwhelmingly voted in favor of limiting voting rights to US citizens over the age of 18. Alabama State Amendment 1 is to change the language of the state constitution to replace “all citizens” with “only” US citizens. The tweak in the state constitution clarifies that only those in possession of US citizenship can vote and not undocumented migrants and people with residency permits.
7. OKLAHOMA SAYS NO TO BANNING USE OF PRIOR CONVICTIONS IN SENTENCING
Some 61% of Oklahoma voters rejected a question on the state ballot that would scrap the practice of considering prior crimes when handing down a sentence, meaning judges can continue to extend jail time depending on criminal records.
8.- COLORADO DIVIDED ON WOLVES