Four more states in the nation could be legalizing recreational marijuana today through ballot measures. Voters in Republican-led Arizona and South Dakota and Democrat-led Montana and New Jersey will consider proposals to legalize recreational marijuana today on election day.
Arizona’s Proposition 207 would allow adults 21 years and older to possess, consume or transfer up to one ounce of cannabis and create a regulatory system for the products’ cultivation and sale.
South Dakota has two measures on the ballot. Measure 26 would establish a medical cannabis program and registration system for people with qualifying conditions.
Amendment A would legalize cannabis for all adults and require state legislators to adopt medical cannabis and hemp laws.
In Montana, Initiative 190 would allow adults in the state to possess, buy and use cannabis for recreational use and defined a 20% tax on recreational cannabis. It would also allow people serving a sentence for certain cannabis-related acts to apply for re-sentencing or records expungement. Initiative 118, would amend the state’s constitution to establish 21 as the legal age to purchase, possess and consume cannabis.
In New Jersey, Public Question No. 1 would amend the state constitution to legalize cannabis for personal, non-medical use by adults 21 and older. If the measure passes, the state commission that oversees the medical market would also regulate the personal market.
Mississippi, is also weighing a pair of ballot questions to legalize medical marijuana.
“It’s really showing the kind of breadth of acceptance that we’re seeing around the country with respect to cannabis,” remarked Steven Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project.
“We lost the time needed to gather signatures or else there would be six states,” Hawkins said in regards to not every effort to get marijuana on the ballot being successful this coroanvirus year.
The initiatives would only be the first step in the process, said John Hudak, deputy director at the Brookings Institution who specializes in state and federal marijuana policy.
Should voters approve the measures today, the state legislatures normally would need to set up regulatory structures within each state said Hudak.