Capitol Comments

On November 8, 2016, California voters will head to the polls to vote on the legalization of recreational marijuana. According to Fortune, eight states are expected to vote on marijuana initiatives this November.

On July 1, 2016, a new Virginia law will take effect that will protect the identities of nearly all parties involved in state-performed lethal injections. HB 815 provides exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act to make confidential all identifying information of producers, suppliers, compounding pharmacies, executioners, and all other individuals involved in the procurement and use of lethal injection drugs. Virginia will become at least the 13th state with such a law.

On Tuesday, June 14, North Dakotans went to the polls to vote to repeal a bill that allowed the expansion of corporate farming in the state. Voters overwhelmingly chose to repeal SB 2351 by a measure of 75 percent to 25 percent. According to the National Agricultural Law Center at the University of Arkansas, eight other states also have laws or statutes that limit or prohibit corporate farming.

San Francisco startup Airbnb is a vital part of what’s known as the sharing economy as it connects property owners with travelers seeking unique travel accommodations. As some states find themselves in budgetary binds, looking to Airbnb and similar businesses for additional revenue may prove a popular option. As of July 1, 2016, ten states require Airbnb to collect and remit applicable state lodging and sales taxes.

On June 2, 2016, Alaska became the 11th state to limit the sale of cough and cold medicines containing dextromethorphan to consumers age 18 and older. Found in common over-the-counter drugs like Robitussin and NyQuil, dextromethorphan is abused in the highest rates by children aged 12-17.