Whether medical or recreational, the US is becoming more open to marijuana.
In addition to votes on the 2020 Presidential Election and Senate seats, several states included new amendments on their Election Day ballots. Five states in particular featured amendments related to the legalization of marijuana, whether for medical purposes, recreational enjoyment, or both. In all of the states in question, those being New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, South Dakota, and Mississippi, the votes seemed to be overall in favor of the amendments, and as of this morning, it looks like the amendments will be put into action.
To get into specifics of the measures, in New Jersey, Arizona, and Montana, the amendments will make the recreational usage of marijuana legal for all adults over the age of 21. South Dakota, in particular, had amendments on the ballots for both the medical usage of marijuana and recreational usage, both of which have passed. This new medical marijuana program will be used by those currently afflicted with a “debilitating medical condition,” in the words of the amendment. According to the cannabis interest group the Marijuana Policy Project, South Dakota has set a policy record for legalizing both medical and recreational marijuana on the same day.
Mississippi was the fifth state with a marijuana-related amendment on the ballot, though theirs was exclusively for the legalization of medical marijuana, not recreational. The amendment was offered in two different versions: one that would allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients at their own discretion, and one that would reserve medical marijuana exclusively for terminally ill patients. The former option was the one that was selected.
To clarify, though these amendments have been passed, recreational usage of marijuana is not immediately legal. While the amendments to individual state constitutions have been passed, lawmakers will need to create a framework for legal marijuana dispensing, as well as put a stop to marijuana-related arrests. Lawmakers in New Jersey in particular are hoping to have these frameworks set up by the end of November.