Marijuana and Minimum Wage Won Big on Tuesday

Every state with a minimum wage hike and all but one with a marijuana proposal saw those measures approved on Tuesday, as voters weighed in on some of the most important economic and social issues facing the nation.

Voters considered a total of 146 state ballot measures (and one in D.C.), a quarter-century low. The last time fewer measures appeared during a general election was 1988. But don’t let that fool you: voters were faced with substantial policy questions ranging from abortion to guns to GMO labeling.

Despite the low number of measures, the fights surrounding them were intense and expensive. More than $195 million funded 193,000 television ads about ballot measures, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of Kantar Media/CMAG data.

The number of states with legal recreational marijuana is set to double, with voters in Alaska and Oregon approving legalization just as their peers did in Colorado and Washington two years ago. Voters in D.C. also approved a legalization measure, though it allows only possession and cultivation, not sale, of the drug. The one state where marijuana failed was Florida, where medical marijuana received majority support, but still fell shy of the 60 percent needed to pass.

At the same time, voters in four states approved minimum wage hikes, a move significant not only in its effect on wages but also in its symbolism. The measures passed by wide—in several cases, double-digit—margins and, after Tuesday, more than half the states now have minimum wages above the federal level.

– Read the entire article at The Washington Post.