Pot, gay marriage, suicide are ballot-item topics

November 1st, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

NEW YORK – After all the economy-focused campaign talk, voters in some states will get a chance on Election Day to sound off on intriguing topics that the presidential rivals ignored, including death-penalty repeal, marijuana legalization and assisted suicide.

In all, there are 176 measures on the Nov. 6 ballots in 38 states, according to the Initiative and Referendum Institute at the University of Southern California.

Many are technical proposals by legislators related to state finances and regulations. Others, however, are dramatic and highly divisive measures that would , if approved , be historic milestones for U.S. social policy.

Any of three states , Maine, Maryland and Washington , could become the first to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular vote, a potentially momentous development that could influence future Supreme Court deliberations on the issue. Thus far, all 32 states with referendums on gay marriage have rebuffed it, while the six states that have legalized it did so through legislation or court orders.

Washington is in another three-state group, with Oregon and Colorado, that could become the first to legalize recreational use of marijuana , allowing adults to possess small amounts of pot under a regimen of state regulation and taxation. The Oregon proposal appears to be fizzling, but the Washington and Colorado measures have led in opinion polls and

Article source: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20121030_ap_potgaymarriagesuicideareballotitemtopics.html