Pot was a popular topic for votes this election. Five states are considering whether to legalize the recreational drug for those 21 and older. Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota all have their ballots to change their constitutions and legalize recreational drugs. They include 19 states and the District of Columbia with recreational marijuana. Prohibitions across the country have continued to fall in the decade since Colorado and Washington approved recreational marijuana. Even some Southern governments have accepted medical treatment.
Recreational drugs could be legalized in half of the country if a minority of states with legalized drugs pass it at the polls this November.
Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota have provisions on their ballots this fall for voters to consider legalizing recreational marijuana. They include 19 states and the District of Columbia with recreational marijuana.
In the decade since Colorado and Washington legalized recreational marijuana, prohibitions have fallen across the country: in large, populous states like California and New York and in small, rural areas like Maine and Vermont. . Southern states have not yet legalized recreational marijuana, for the most part, but many have enacted medical marijuana programs.
Here’s more information on states looking to legalize recreational drugs:
WHERE IS THE MARIJUANA MOVEMENT GOING?
— The Arkansas Supreme Court cleared the way in September for voters to consider whether people 21 and older can use the drug recreationally. The court overturned the decision of the Electoral Commission, saying that the application did not explain the effect. Arkansas legalized medical marijuana in 2016.
— Maryland lawmakers voted earlier this year to put the question on the ballot, asking voters whether marijuana should be legal for those 21 and older. . The proposed legislative change states that recreational marijuana will not be legal until July 2023, with a transition period between January 1 and July 1.
— Missouri’s amendment also allows for this 21 and older. People also start buying and growing for personal use this year. Missouri voters approved medical marijuana in 2018. Missouri’s Republican-dominated Legislature failed to pass recreational drug use for years, as advocates went to voters for approval.
— A North Dakota ballot initiative successfully put the lease bond question before voters this year. That means if the question is approved people 21 and older can use marijuana at home and possess and cultivate large amounts of the drug. The measure establishes policies to regulate retail stores, growers, and other marijuana businesses.
— South Dakota voters passed a 2020 drug reform, but Gov. Kristi Noem backed a lawsuit challenging it, and the state Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional of the government. This year, voters will have another chance to consider legalizing recreational drugs for those 21 and older.
— Supporters of a ballot to legalize recreational drugs in Oklahoma have enough signatures to bring the issue before voters but not in time for the November ballot. They will vote in March.
Cannabis is in good shape everywhere now, at least medicinal MARIJUANA. WHERE IS IT NOT?
Federally, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug, along with heroin and LSD, and can carry penalties for possession. Idaho, Kansas and Nebraska are the only states that have yet to implement any type of public use drug program, whether medical or recreational, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
WHAT ELSE IS CHANGING MARIJUANA LAWS?
In October, Democratic President Joe Biden announced that he was pardoning thousands of people convicted of marijuana possession.
He also directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the US Attorney General to review how marijuana is classified under federal law. The White House did not set a timeline for the review. Biden also said he believes that while federal laws and regulations on marijuana are being loosened, there should be restrictions on the sale, trafficking and sale of minors.
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