The once widely controversial issue of marijuana legalization has been decidedly eclipsed by this year’s divisive presidential race, though voters in five states are being asked to weigh in on legalization. Recreational or medical use, or both, are on the ballot in Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota.
This year’s elections have marijuana legalization likely pushing into additional U.S. states that could grow the industry’s size by $9 billion, according to cannabis market firm New Frontier Data.
Arizona — Proposition 207
Voters who say “yes” to Proposition 207 in Arizona will support legalized recreational marijuana use for those 21 and older, along with a 16% excise tax on the drug. Voters who say “no” to the measure will support keeping the state as one that permits medical use, yet outlaws recreational use and possession.
Mississippi — Ballot Measure 1, Initiative 65 & Initiative 65A
Mississippi voters this election are being asked to weigh in on medical marijuana legalization options. Recreational use remains illegal in the state and is not up for consideration. As a first step, under Ballot Measure 1, voters must decide to either support or outlaw medical use.
Initiative 65 and Initiative 65A are additional issues voters are being asked to weigh in on, should Ballot Measure 1 pass. A “yes” vote for Initiative 65 would limit medical use for treatment of specific medical conditions, as well as cap quantities that patients could possess at 2.5 ounces, whereas 65A would permit broad medical use and possession, without limitations.
Montana — I-190
Adult recreational use is on Montana’s ballot under the Marijuana Legalization Initiative, or I-190. A “yes” vote to the measure would legalize recreational purchase and use for those 21 and older. Possession of the drug would be capped at 1 ounce, or less than 8 grams of concentrate.
New Jersey — Question 1
Adult recreational use is also on the ballot in New Jersey after efforts to legalize recreational use failed in the state legislature. Voters who cast a “yes” vote to Question 1 will support amending the state’s constitution to permit those who are 21 and older to use and possess marijuana, as well as to permit marijuana to be cultivated, processed, and sold in New Jersey.
South Dakota — Constitutional Amendment A & Measure 26
Voters in South Dakota will consider both recreational and medical marijuana use. Those who vote in favor of Constitutional Amendment A will support amending the state’s constitution to legalize recreational use, as well as possession and distribution of up to one ounce of the drug, for those 21 years old and older.
The measure, if adopted, would also require the state legislature to draft and pass new laws to establish a state medical marijuana program by no later than April 1, 2022. Measure 26, separately, would require the state to form a medical marijuana program for limited use and possession for people afflicted with a debilitating medical condition.