Every Ballot Measure for Legalizing Cannabis Passed
Six States and Washing D.C All Passed Marijuana Initiatives
- New Jersey
- South Dakota
- Washington D.C.
Can it really be happening? Is Federal legalization really that close? More marijuana reform happed in the 2020 election and it has brought the number of states with some kind of cannabis laws on the books to 47. Five more states came on board this election and it really shows the bipartisan support for cannabis legalization across the country. Oregon became the first state to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for therapy all other drugs have been decriminalized. Arizona, Montana, New Hersey and South Dakota all passed adult use laws which now makes 1/3 of the country living in a state with legalized cannabis.
While we sit glued to our favorite network news as the pundits talk about who is suing who and who will be the next president, one thing we do know is that there is an overwhelming support for both medical and adult use marijuana.
In an interview with Marijuana Moment, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said, “This is what voters want. They’re not partisan issues, it’s an opportunity for Republicans to be able to make progress in their red states and bring people together at a time of division,” he said. “I think you’re going to watch people understand what just happened last night, and it is a continuation of progress that’s been going on since 1996. I think it’s going to be much easier [to pass reform] in the new Congress, with Republicans and Democrats, both in the House and Senate.”
Commenting on the latest election results, NORML’s Executive Director Erik Altiieri said: “Despite this public consensus, elected officials have far too often remained unresponsive to the legalization issue. This dereliction of representation has forced advocacy groups to directly place the marijuana-related ballot question before the voters. These results once again illustrate that support for legalization extends across geographic and demographic lines. The success of these initiatives proves definitively that marijuana legalization is not exclusively a ‘blue’ state issue, but an issue that is supported by a majority of all Americans — regardless of party politics.”
So let’s break down what these states decided.
Four years after legalizing medical marijuana, Arizona passed an initiative to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older. The new legalization law says that anyone over 21 can possess up to an ounce of marijuana at once and can grow up to six plants for personal use. This is yet another state with and NBA team that legalized adult use marijuana. It’s now wonder the NBA keeps changing their marijuana policies.
The win in Mississippi is for patients as they passed legislation for medical marijuana. The proposal allows for people with debilitating diseases to obtain medical marijuana once they get a doctor’s recommendation. The big question here is will patients be able to right off their weed as a tax deduction?
There was strong opposition to the laws in Mississippi and activists had to overcome many obstacles first getting the question on the ballot and also some voter confusion. Voters overcame the more restrictive measure that was put up as an alternative bill by the opposition but the voters prevailed.
Montana has had a medical marijuana program since 2004, but had it overhauled in 2011 with SB 423. Before it went into effect the bill was challenged in a five year court battle and then the Montana Supreme Court rule d in favor of the law in February of 2016. New Approach Montana, a statewide campaign worked to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana, submitted two complementary 2020 ballot initiatives back in January.
The initiatives were passed to legalize marijuana for adult use stipulating that anyone 21 years or older can participate in the program. The measure will ensure that Montana will establish a legal system for cannabis production and sales.
Voters in New Jersey have been talking about this for years and they overwhelmingly voted to approve a referendum to legalize recreational marijuana. They still have to create some legislation and regulations around the new law but they are expected to introduce that legislation as early as today or tomorrow. Governor Phil Murphy campaigned for the measure to pass and also congratulated the other states who passed similar laws.
If you remember back in June, the New Jersey Assembly voted in favor (63-10, with 5 abstentions) of a decriminalization bill (A.1897) that would decriminalize possession, manufacture, and distribution of up to two ounces of cannabis in the state.
Leave it to Oregon to be extremely progressive as they became the first state in the nation to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for therapeutic purposes and also to decriminalize possession of all drugs. Yes you read that correct. ALL DRUGS!
For psilocybin, patients must be under medical supervision for access to the now legal psychedelic drug. The good news is that there are no limitations on the types of conditions one must have to try this plant based therapy. Psilocybin has been used to treat some forms of depression and PTSD with some incredible success.
The bigger news from Oregon is the decriminalization of all drugs. Criminal penalties for low-level drug possession will be removed and those caught with a controlled substance will face a $100 fine or be required to complete a health assessment within 45 days.
South Dakota surprised conservatives when they passed both medical and recreational marijuana laws going from strictly prohibited to legal for all patients with a doctor’s recommendation and for adults 21 years of age and older. Adults will be able to possess and distribute up to one ounce of marijuana and they will also be able to cultivate up to three plants at once.
The medical initiative change to allow patients suffering from debilitating conditions to purchase and possess up to three ounces of cannabis from a licensed dispensary.
Washington D.C. voters voted to decriminalize the possession of a wide variety of psychedelic drugs including psilocybin, ayahuasca and ibogaine. They join three other cities in enacting these policy changes and really shows a national movement to reform laws governing entheogenic plants and fungi. This new law makes possession of psychedelics amongst the lowest priorities for law enforcement much like the Cole memo did for cannabis.
Americans like their drugs. Plain and simple. They love pharmaceutical drugs and they love plant based medicines as well. Seems like all Americans need some sort of healing in their lives and they embrace all drugs. Cannabis has made a huge breakthrough and it looks like it may be federally legal sooner than everyone thought. Now that psilocybin has made a strong showing, and mushroom companies are popping up everywhere, even with some publicly traded psilocybin companies raising lots of money. So stay diligent folks, we have defiantly rounded the corner and normalized cannabis the way it should be.