Updated on 11/5/20 to include results.
Every year there’s more states voting on legal cannabis. 2020 is no exception.
It’s become a regular trend. Each year, several states add an initiative to their ballot to vote for the legalization of cannabis. 33 states have legalized medical cannabis, and 11 of those states have legalized marijuana for recreational use.
It doesn’t mean that all of the initiatives are what we would ideally like, and there’s a couple states who have suffered from bad legislation.
For example, even though Vermont and Main legalized cannabis in 2018, neither had an actual regulated marketplace for legal cannabis until 2020. In other words even though cannabis was legal, there was nowhere to buy it, and selling it was still illegal.
But states voting on legal cannabis with some issues in the legislation is better than states not voting on legal cannabis at all. With that said, here’s the states voting on legal cannabis on November 3rd.
There are two measures on the ballot in Mississippi that aim to legalize cannabis for medical purposes.
Initiative 65 would make medical marijuana available for people with very specific qualifying conditions, according to WJTV. Patients could possess up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana at one time. The initiative also sets a state tax rate. This initiative basically fully legalizes medical and recreational cannabis in the state.
Initiative 65A does not specify qualifying conditions or possession limits. Regulations would need to be set by state lawmakers. This initiative is the more restrictive option, only specifying the use of medical marijuana for chronic illnesses and terminally ill patients.
Proposition 207 would legalize the possession and use of marijuana for adults who are 21 or older. People would be permitted to grow six marijuana plants at their home as long as the plants aren’t in public view. The Arizona Department of Health Services would be responsible for regulating marijuana facilities and stores.
Four years ago, voters narrowly rejected a measure to legalize recreational marijuana. It is looking like this year’s vote will have more support and is likely to pass.
Montana definitely isn’t a state that comes to mind when people think of states voting on legal cannabis, but Montana actually has two different initiatives on the ballot.
CI-118 or “Allow for a Legal Age for Marijuana Amendment” would make 21 the legal age to purchase cannabis for recreational use. In other words it would amend the Montana Constitution to authorize the state to set 21 years of age as the minimum legal age for marijuana consumption.
I-190 would be the actual regulated industry proposal that CI-118 would allow for. According to Ballotpedia, the measure would legalize the possession and use of one ounce or less or 8 grams or less of marijuana concentrate by people at least 21.
It also puts a 20% tax on legalized marijuana that would flow into the state’s general fund. But that’s not all. In fact, I-90 is actually quite comprehensive. In addition to the above, I-90 would also:
- Direct the Montana Department of Revenue to license and regulate the cultivation, transportation, and sale of marijuana and marijuana-infused products and to inspect premises where marijuana is cultivated and sold.
- Require licensed laboratories to test marijuana and marijuana-infused products for potency and contaminants.
- Allocate 10.5% of the tax revenue to the state’s general fund, with the remainder dedicated to accounts for conservation programs, substance abuse treatment, veterans’ services, healthcare programs, and local governments where marijuana is sold.
- Allow an individual currently serving a sentence for a prior low-level marijuana offense to apply for resentencing or an expungement of the conviction.
- Prohibit advertising of marijuana and related products.
- Strictly regulate the packaging and labeling of marijuana products to prevent accidental ingestion and access by children.
- Require that marijuana provider licenses only be issued to Montana residents.
- Permit localities to regulate, ban, or restrict marijuana businesses within their jurisdiction.
Question No. 1 on the ballot would make pot legal for adults 21 and older. Medical marijuana is already legal in New Jersey, and the group that oversees the regulation of medicinal cannabis would also regulate recreational pot.
The constitutional amendment would take effect on January 1 and would make New Jersey the first state in the Mid-Atlantic to legalize marijuana.
Because of the economic impact expected to be brought in by residents of neighboring states, it’s believed passage in New Jersey could put pressure on other states in the region to pass similar measures. Unfortunately, Question No. 1 is very short and vague, which likely implies while cannabis could be legal on January 1, 2021, it might be some time before a regulated industry is operating in the state.
The state will be voting on both medicinal and recreational marijuana during the general election.
Amendment A would legalize recreational cannabis for anyone 21 or older. The measure would also require state lawmakers to pass laws that create a medical marijuana program by early 2022.
Measure 26 would only allow for the sale of medical marijuana to people with “debilitating medical conditions.” Patients cleared for the program could possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana and grow plants in their homes.
While strict, South Dakota is one of the most conservative states when it comes to cannabis, being one of the only in the nation to still not have passed any legislation regarding cannabis. For these same reasons many are unhopeful that Measure 26 or Amendment A will pass.