Five other states are contemplating legalizing marijuana.
Five other states are contemplating legalizing marijuana President Joe Biden fulfilled a campaign promise to take the lead on marijuana (or cannabis) reform more than a year and a half into his administration. On October 6, Biden stated that he would attempt to reclassify cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act and that he would pardon all prior federal convictions for simple cannabis possession. He also urged all governors to take the same action with regard to state penalties. Five states are attempting to legalize marijuana this year: Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota. A sixth state, Colorado, is attempting to take things a step further by becoming the second state in the union to legalize some psychedelics. If proponents of recreational cannabis win every vote, over half of Americans will have done so.
With Issue 6, which received 53% of the vote, Arkansas became the first state in the Bible belt to legalize medical marijuana in 2016. According to that statute, which permits those with qualifying medical conditions to possess up to 2 1/2 ounces of cannabis from state-licensed shops, more than 91,000 people hold medical cannabis cards.
The Arkansas legislation, in contrast to other legalization amendments being proposed this year, does not include language allowing limited, at-home cultivation, nor does it provide a way for people to have cannabis-related charges from their criminal records expunged.
According to polling conducted in September by Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College, 58.5% of the 835 potential Arkansas voters surveyed said they would approve Issue 4.
Arkansas NORML treasurer Melissa Faults claimed in July that “controlling the industry” would “destroy” the state’s medicinal cannabis market because “you can set the prices to whatever you want and make the people pay for it.
The leader of the Yes on 4 campaign, which was created to support Question 4, a constitutional amendment supporting marijuana use in Maryland, maybe the only elected official running for office this year who can bench press 225 pounds for 23 repetitions.
Eugene Monroe, a retired NFL offensive tackle, has promoted the use of cannabis as a treatment for chronic pain since 2016, just before his playing career came to an end. In contrast to opioid drugs, the substance, and specifically its non-psychoactive component CBD, can cure chronic pain and anxiety without being addictive.
“Having a criminal record can have a profound impact on a person’s entire family and community for the rest of their life. Because marijuana is illegal, even having a modest amount of it can make it much harder to find housing, a job, or an education, Monroe said. “When we pass Question 4 in Mary land that will change.”
The likelihood that Missouri Amendment 3, a constitutional amendment that would legalize cannabis use for recreational purposes, establish a procedure for inmates to be released from custody and have certain cannabis-related offenses expunged from their records, and establish “microbusiness” licensing for those who meet certain requirements, will be approved by voters has been widely divided. The findings of three different surveys, each taken in mid-September, are quite dissimilar.
According to a Survey USA survey conducted between September 14 and September 18, which was funded by a few Midwestern television stations, MA 3 would pass by a wide margin. Of the 670 respondents, 62% supported the amendment, while 22% opposed it.
- North Dakota:
Measure 2 in 2022 is not North Dakota’s first attempt to legalize recreational marijuana; the state has already approved cannabis for medical use. Voters in 2018 rejected Measure 3, which among other things sought to expunge convictions for legal controlled substances, legalize cannabis use for those over 21, and other measures. However, it was defeated by 59.45% to 40.55%. Supporters retried in 2020 but were unsuccessful due to the pandemic.
Governor Dug Burgum of North Dakota decriminalized the possession of up to half an ounce of cannabis in 2019, however, concentrates are still prohibited. A legalization bill was also addressed by the state legislature in 2021, however, it was defeated by the state senate after receiving support from the state house.
- South Dakota:
South Dakotans supported Amendment A, a citizen-led initiative that put legalized marijuana on the ballot, two years ago. The constitutional amendment was challenged within a year by Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who said it touched too many subjects improperly. She was successful, and the state Supreme Court confirmed a lower court ruling that invalidated the legislation on appeal.
In the majority ruling, Chief Justice Steven Jensen stated that it was “obvious that Amendment A contains provisions covering at least three unique subjects, each with distinct goals or purposes.” He held that hemp, medical marijuana, and recreational marijuana were all separate concerns.
Since legalizing recreational use in 2012 and medical use in 2000, Colorado has been at the forefront of drug legalization. However, Colorado is out of step when it comes to Proposition 122, which aims to decriminalize personal use and possession of hallucinogenic plants and fungi, also known as “magic mushrooms,” for those who are over 21.
With Measure 109, Oregon decriminalized psychedelics in 2020 and made mushrooms legal. This allowed for the administration of psilocybin in medical settings. Prop. 122 would establish a comparable system to control “healing centers” and “natural medicine services,” where people could use psilocybin in authorized settings