Maryland, Missouri Legalize Cannabis
On Nov. 8, voters in Maryland and Missouri approved their respective cannabis legalization ballot initiatives. The majority of voters, however, denied legalizing cannabis for adults 21 and over in Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota.
This marks the sixth consecutive election in which voters in multiple states approved cannabis measures at the ballot box. Heading into Election Day, 19 states had legalized cannabis for adults 21 and over. Now, there are 21 legalization states in the country.
“A growing number of voters recognize that cannabis policy reform is in the best interest of public health and safety, criminal justice reform, social equity, and personal freedom,” said Toi Hutchinson, president and CEO of the Marijuana Policy Project. “State-level legalization victories are what’s necessary to move the needle forward at the federal level. That is how we build cannabis champions in Congress who are committed to taking meaningful action to put an end to prohibition once and for all.”
The state voting follows moves by President Joe Biden toward decriminalizing marijuana.
According to The Associated Press, Missouri’s measure will legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older and expunge records of past arrests and convictions for nonviolent marijuana offenses, except for selling to minors or driving under the influence, while Maryland will also make changes in criminal law and create automatic expungements of past marijuana possession convictions..