The State of Marijuana Legalization In The United States
This election cycle, five states have recreational and medical marijuana legalization up for a vote this election year. South Dakota has both a ballot initiative and a Constitutional Amendment in South Dakota to be voted on. Montana, New Jersey and Arizona, where medical marijuana is currently legal, have ballot measures that would legalize recreational marijuana. Mississippi has a ballot initiative that would legalize medical marijuana in the state. There is no doubt that while COVID has absorbed a great deal of the public’s attention from marijuana reform, there is still interest in the issue.
As of 2020, 11 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational and medicinal use. In those states, the sale is regulated and only allowed for adults. Twenty-two states allow for medical marijuana use.
State Of Marijuana Legalization In The United States
Americans’ attitudes about marijuana use have greatly changed over the last 10 years, according to research from Gallup. In 2010, two years before Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize marijuana, 44% of Americans supported legalizing pot, according to Gallup. Last year, 66% of Americans said it should be legal, according to Gallup.
Americans are seeing the benefits of marijuana legalization firsthand, whether it is the increased revenue from taxes or medical benefits for patients dealing with chronic pain. This reinforces the argument many legalization proponents have long made being that misinformation about cannabis and other controlled substances would be corrected once states pass legalization. A study released last year by Washington State University found “no statistically significant long-term effects of recreational cannabis laws, or the initiation of legal retail sales, on violent or property crime rates,” in Washington State or Colorado.
A change in the marijuana laws, especially in conservative states like South Dakota and Mississippi”, would increase the likelihood that other states would consider legalizing cannabis. It looks like we’ll see where Americans are soon enough.