Medical marijuana appearing on the November ballot could have an impact on the Utah State Legislature, flipping some districts from Republican to Democrat.
In other states, marijuana initiatives have historically driven younger, often more liberal voters to the polls. It may not be enough to turn red state Utah blue, but it could certainly impact some districts. This year, voters will not only have a presidential election to contend with, but numerous legislative seats are on the ballot.
“I think medical cannabis as a ballot initiative changes political dynamics for the election,” said Josh Daniels, a policy analyst for the Libertas Institute, a Libertarian-leaning think tank that supports medical marijuana. “There’s going to be a lot of different populations, maybe people that typically don’t vote who are going to be very interested in this particular issue.”
Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, said marijuana on the ballot could make for an interesting election, but he did not believe the legislature would lose its Republican super-majority.