The Post-Midterms State Of Marijuana Legalization In The US
In the 2022 midterm election, Maryland and Missouri have legalized recreational marijuana via the ballot box.
However, as Katharina Buchholz notes, three similar referendums have been voted down in Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota, CNN projects.
South Dakota had actually given the recreational and medical use of cannabis the green light in the 2020 elections, but the state’s Supreme Court ruled the ballot measure on recreational weed invalid for technical reasons after a complaint funded by Governor Kristi Noem. The second time around, the referendum is expected to be narrowly defeated.
As of now, this means that recreational marijuana will be legal in 21 states and the District of Columbia.
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After successful ballot measures in the 2020 election, weed became legal in Arizona, New Jersey and Montana. During 2021 and 2022, state legislatures in New York, Virginia, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Connecticut passed bills to legalize marijuana. These recent development have brought recreational cannabis to more East Coast states after the American West had long been the hotbed of legalization efforts. Colorado and Washington were the first states to legalize the drug in 2012.
While official sales of marijuana can take a while to start as setting up a licensing system for dispensaries usually takes time, possession and consumption are expected to become legal more quickly in the states in question. There are currently 37 states that have medical marijuana laws, including all that allow recreational use.