The US election results you probably weren’t aware of 2

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While you were focusing on whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton would become the president of the United States, you probably missed the range of new laws voted in across several states.

That’s right, in many states voters didn’t just vote for a new president, they also voted for new laws on everything from medicinal marijuana to the death penalty.

So, what are the new laws and where do they apply?

Well, three of the most heavily populated states all voted in favour of legalising marijuana use (and we’re not just talking about medical use).

Voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada all voted to give people the right to use marijuana legally, including for recreational purposes.

It looks like Maine and Montana may follow suit, while voters in Arizona rejected the idea.

In California the vote was split 56% to 44%, with predictions the state could make $US1 billion per year in taxes on marijuana.

Those states will join Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia, where marijuana use is also legal.

While those five states will allow people to smoke marijuana as they please, another three states have voted for marijuana to be legalised for medicinal purposes.

Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota are the newest states to allow people to access marijuana if they’re ill.

But that’s not the only issue voters have had their say on.

Several states also voted on changes to the death penalty.

Californians rejected the idea of getting rid of the death penalty and voted in favour of speeding up executions, while Nebraska voted to reinstate the death penalty.

And the gun control debate was also ignited in several states.

Voters in Nevada voted in favour of universal background checks for guns sold privately, while the state of Maine rejected the idea.

There were also gun control wins in Washington, where voters approved giving judges the right to stop dangerous people from possessing guns, and California, where voters said yes to a referendum requiring background checks before some people buy ammunition and banning large-capacity ammunition magazines.

So, why the law changes?

Well, the individual states of the United States can choose to hold a vote called a Prop (proposition) – similar to a referendum or plebiscite – at the same time as the presidential election.

What do you think of the changes in laws in some of the states? Do you wish Australia had a similar system?

 

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