The green party? America is split between presidential candidates, but unified when it comes to marijuana legalization.

The presidential election is a true nail biter. Americans are split between blue and red, but their support for green is much more unified. There were five states in total that had marijuana-related ballot initiatives. Not familiar with ballot initiatives? Here’s a nifty link that will provide some background. Long story short, voters made it clear that the fight for marijuana legalization is far from over.

Over half of the states have legalized or decriminalized the use of marijuana in some form. Voters in the 2020 presidential election continued to move the dial toward nationwide legalization. So let’s dive in and review the 2020 ballot initiatives that were passed in Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota.

Arizona

TitleProposition 207 / Marijuana Legalization Initiative
Recreational or Medical?Recreational
What it doeslegalizes possession and use of marijuana for adults 21 y/o+; enacts tax on marijuana sales; requires AZ DHHS to develop rules to regulate marijuana businesses
Passed?Yes. ~60% of voters voted “yes”
Where can I find more details?Here!

Mississippi

Title There were two options:
(1) Initiative 65; and
(2) Initiative 65A
Recreational or Medical?Medical
What it doesVoters had to choose: Initiative 65, 65A, or neither. 65 was a state constitutional amendment that legalized medical marijuana for 20 qualifying conditions. 65 also speficied legal posession amounts and tax rates. 65A was an alternative state constitutional amendment that restricted smoking to terminally ill patients and required additional details to be added by the state’s legislature. 65A did not list qualifying conditions.
Passed?Yes. ~68% of voters said they wanted either Initiative 65 or 65A. Of those 68%, 75% voted for Initiative 65.
Where can I find more details?Here!

Montana

TitleMontana I-190 / Marijuana Legalization Initiative
Recreational or Medical?Recreational
What it doeslegalizes possession and use of marijuana by adults 21 y/o+; 20% sales tax; requires state Dept. of Revenue to develop rules for marijuana businesses; allows re-sentencing or expungement for marijuana-related crimes
Passed?Yes. ~57% of voters voted “yes”
Where can I find more details?Here!

New Jersey

TitleNJ Public Question #1 / Marijuana Legalization Amendment
Recreational or Medical?Recreational
What it doesamends state constitution to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 y/o+; legalizes cultivation/processing/retail sale of marijuana. It appears that the state sales tax will apply and local government bodies can add up to 2%.
Passed?Yes. ~67% of voters voted “yes”
Where can I find more details?Here!

South Dakota

TitleThere were two separate initiatives:
(1) Measure 26 / Medical Marijuana Initiative; and
(2) Constitutional Amendment A / Marijuana Legalization Initiative
Recreation or Medical?Measure 26: Medical
Amendment A: Recreational
What it doesMeasure 26: establishes a a medical marijuana program in SD for people with debilitating medical conditions (requires physician certification)

Amendment A: amends state constitution to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 y/o+; included possession and distribution limits; requires SD State Legislature to pass laws for medical marijuana use and sale of hemp by April 2022.
Passed?Yes. Both Passed.
Measure 26: ~69% of voters voted “yes”
Amendment A: ~53% of voters voted “yes”
Where can I find more details?Measure 26: Here!
Amendment A: Here!

Where does this leave us?

Americans are not losing interest in marijuana. Following the implementation of these initiatives, there will be 15 states, plus Washington D.C., that have legalized recreational marijuana. There will be 35 states, plus Washington D.C., that have a medical marijuana program in place. Regardless of who wins the election, the passage of these ballot initiatives proves that America’s future includes marijuana.

Thanks for stopping by! My name is Anthony—I’m a pharmacist and a law student. Nothing on this blog should be interpreted as legal guidance or advice. If you have any questions, or if anything above needs to be corrected, please comment or reach out on social media. -Anthony

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