PHOENIX — Arizona voters have already decided, or are going to have to decide, on two big, statewide measures this election, both that will affect the local economy in big ways.
Should the recreational use of marijuana be legalized? Should the minimum wage be increased?
Answers to those questions will be decided by voters and announced on Tuesday.
It’s important to know what is going on around the country that is similar to what’s going on around the Valley.
Some states have initiatives, like Arizona, to legalize the recreational use of marijuana to some degree, while some are just deciding to legalize the use of medical marijuana.
Other states are leaving it up to voters to increase the minimum wage, with even one state giving people a possibility to lower the minimum wage.
So with that in mind, here are the states that are dealing with similar initiatives and what could be changing across the nation, just like Arizona.
This initiative will allow for adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and to consume marijuana in private. Prop. 205 will also allow for other things, which you can read about here, but that is essentially the biggest public change.
California is one of four other states leaving it up to the voters in 2016 to make the recreational use of marijuana legal in some form. It’s called Proposition 64 there, and it allows for those 21 years of age or older to consume and share up to one ounce of pot and eight grams of marijuana concentrates, but the use of it in public will remain illegal.
Maine (Question 1), Massachusetts (Question 4) and Nevada (Question 2) also have recreational marijuana legalization initiatives on the ballot, and all three have almost the same rules of no public use and may allow up to an ounce at one time instituted into it as well, if they all get passed. Massachusetts used the wording on its measure to regulate marijuana like alcohol.
Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota all have initiatives to allow individuals to use medical marijuana, something Arizona passed in 2010.
This initiative in Arizona will raise the minimum wage to $10 in 2017, and then it will incrementally increase to $12 by 2020. The current minimum wage in Arizona is $8.05.
It also creates a right to paid sick time off from employment, which is up to employers at this point on whether or not to offer paid sick time off.
In Colorado (Amendment 70) and Maine (Question 4), voters are also deciding to increase their state’s minimum wage to $12.
If passed in Colorado, the minimum wage would move from $8.31 to $9.30 in 2017, and then eventually reach $12 by 2020.
If passed in Maine, there is no set increase by 2017, but the minimum wage would move from $7.50 to $12 by 2020.
Washington is the only other state in the country that voters will decide on increasing the minimum wage. It’s Initiative 1433, and if passed, the minimum wage will move from $9.47 to $13.50 incrementally by 2020, and it will also demand for employers to offer paid sick time off. This would be the biggest change in minimum wage in the nation.
South Dakota is the one and only state with a measure to decrease the minimum wage. If Referred Law 20 is to pass Tuesday, the minimum wage for workers under the age of 18 will move from $8.50 to $7.50.