Oct 7 (Reuters) – Voters in five states will decide whether to legalize adult use of marijuana in the November midterm elections, as did 19 other states and the District of Columbia.
Public support for the legalization of the drug has surged in recent years, and President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that it has Amnesties Thousands of people have been convicted of federal marijuana possession charges.
Here’s a summary of where things stand before the November 8 vote:
Weed on the card
Voters in Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota will vote to allow adults to use recreational marijuana.
The South Dakota initiative is a bit of work. Residents approved an earlier referendum on marijuana use in 2020, but Governor Kristi Noem, a Republican, challenged the result in court. The state Supreme Court invalidated the amendment last year, ruling that it violated the Constitution on technical grounds. This year’s initiative is designed more narrowly to avoid a similar outcome.
The Oklahoma group also collected enough signatures to hold a referendum. After lengthy legal challenges, the state Supreme Court ruled that there was not long enough for the question to come up on the November ballot. The initiative is likely to go to voters in 2024.
Ballot referendum efforts for 2023 or 2024 are also underway in Florida, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Ohio.
In addition to statewide referendums, voters in some cities across the country will decide whether to decriminalize marijuana possession laws and whether to allow licensed cannabis dealers in their areas.
Residents of New Jersey, Arizona, and Montana have voted to legalize marijuana in 2020. Finally, 19 states and the District of Columbia allow recreational marijuana use, and 37 states regulate cannabis for medical use.
Polls show that a majority of Americans favor legalization. A Morning Consult/Politico poll this week found that 60% of respondents believed the drug should be legal, compared to 27% who disagreed.
Democrats are likely to support legalization. The poll found that 71% of Democrats support and 16% oppose, compared to 47% in favor and 41% against among Republicans.
Efforts to pass federal legislation in the Senate stalled, due in large part to Republican opposition.