This year, President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will not be all that Americans cast their vote for on ballots.
In 32 states, Americans will decide on a slew of propositions ranging from the therapeutic use of “magic mushrooms,” to comprehensive sex education in public schools to whether to keep the Confederate emblem on Mississippi’s state flag.
In Oregon, where marijuana is legal, voters will decide whether to allow the regulated medical use of psilocybin – the naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced in so-called “magic mushrooms.” Advocates say the chemical has shown positive benefits for patients with mental health issues. But some, like the American Psychiatric Association, say the controversial practice shouldn’t be decided by ballot initiative, according to The New York Post.
In New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota, residents will vote on whether to approve the adult recreational use of marijuana – which is already legal in 11 states.
A “yes” vote on New Jersey’s Public Question 1 supports a “constitutional amendment to legalize the possession and use of marijuana for persons age 21 and older and legalize the cultivation, processing, and sale of retail marijuana.”
California has 12 propositions on the ballot. Among its most consequential is Proposition 22, a “no” vote of which would reclassify gig workers – like app-based rideshare drivers – as employees rather than independent contracts. The measure has been met with fierce opposition from Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash, Instacart, Lyft, and Postmates.
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Also in “The Golden State,” Proposition16, would if passed, repeal another proposition that outlawed affirmative action in the public sector. Proposition 21 would allow local governments to enact rent control on certain homes and units.
Further north, in Washington state, voters will decide whether its public schools should provide comprehensive sex education while giving parents the option to decide to opt-out their kids.
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In Mississippi, voters will decide whether to adopt a new design for their state flag that replaces its old one that includes a Confederate battle emblem. The issue – of Mississippi being the last state to feature the symbol – gained media attention this summer as U.S. protests against racial injustice forced to state lawmakers to reckon with the racist history of the Confederate flag.