In any other year, cannabis legalization on the ballot might be big news. But in 2020, it has taken a back burner to riots, protests, wildfires, and of course, a worldwide pandemic. Still, with November right around the corner, we thought many of our readers might be interested to know which states are guaranteed to be voting on legalization this election year so far.
This will be the second time Arizona has attempted to legalize recreational cannabis. In 2016, Proposition 205 was just shy of passing, with 48.7% of the yes votes. This year, things are looking better.
Proposition 207 is a measure that would allow those 21 and over to possess and consume marijuana for recreational use. Arizona’s DHHS would be involved, developing and enforcing standards for the new industry.
According to surveys, supporters of Proposition 207 outnumber the opponents by two to one.
Voters in the Garden State will be asked to examine Public Question 1. It’s an amendment to legalize use, possession, processing, production, and sales for anyone 21 or over. Current polling suggests that around 68% of those surveyed support legalization at some level.
Voters have been expecting Public Question 1 for over a year, when New Jersey guaranteed in December 2019 that it would place a marijuana initiative on the November 2020 Ballot.
In Montana, voters will have two questions to ponder on their ballots. The first is an initiated constitutional amendment titled Montana CI-118. It aims to establish 21 as the minimum legal age for Montanans to use, purchase, and possess cannabis.
The second measure is called I-190. It seeks to legalize recreational use for people 21 and over and impose a 20% tax on legal sales. Also, those who are presently incarcerated for cannabis-related offenses might be eligible to be resentenced or even have their whole conviction expunged.
With only just over half of all Montana residents in favor of adult-use, the voting will likely be close.
Those voting in Mississippi will have two cannabis measures to sort through. Both are related to permitting medical use of marijuana. In the first section, voters will be asked whether they support medical marijuana or not. Voters can choose “either measure” or “neither measure”. Either measure means you support medical marijuana, and neither measure indicates that you are opposed to its use.
However, predictably, the second question won’t be that simple. Residents must choose from two options: Initiative 65 or Alternative 65A.
Initiative 65 specifies that medical cannabis can be prescribed for 20 specific medical conditions. It also taxes cannabis sales at 7%. Alternative 65A requires a lot of extra oversight when it comes to using medical marijuana as a patient. Additionally, it only allows terminally ill patients to smoke weed.
South Dakota residents could make history this election if they support Measure 26. That’s because they are trying to pass recreational and medical cannabis simultaneously, something that has never been done in any other state.
They will also be voting on Constitutional Amendment A. Like Measure 26, it would allow people 21 and over to purchase and possess weed. Still, it would mean a 15% tax levy on recreational purchases. The legislature would also need to create a medical cannabis program and develop some consistent standards for the hemp industry by April 1, 2022.