When Will Pot Be Legal in the Us

Recreational sales will take place just steps away from nearby El Paso, where local law enforcement is warning that it`s still not legal to bring cannabis across state borders. Yet many cannabis advocates believe it`s only a matter of time before marijuana becomes legal, or at least decriminalized, nationwide. “I think it slows down the green rush that we`ve seen and shows that there are deep reservations about marijuana legalization in many parts of the country,” Sabet said. “This fight is far from over.” North Dakota voted against legalization in the 2018 midterm elections, and the current race appears to be too close, according to polls. But supporters of legalization seem to have a better chance this time with more funds for this campaign. This renewed initiative also better addresses people`s concerns about surveillance, Jared Moffat, campaign director for the Marijuana Policy Project, told NPR. There are also racial and ethnic differences in views on marijuana legalization. About two-thirds of black adults (68%) and six in ten white adults say marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use, compared to lower proportions of Hispanic (49%) and Asian (48%) adults. Efforts are also underway in the U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive cannabis reform at the federal level. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill in April 2022 that would legalize cannabis in the U.S. However, it seems unlikely that the bill will pass in the U.S.

Senate. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, who served under President George W. As director of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bush led the state`s opposition to legalization, saying it was “the wrong direction for Arkansas.” Gov. elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who served as former President Donald Trump`s press secretary at the White House, also objected. Only two of the five state election initiatives calling on voters to legalize cannabis for adults passed in Tuesday`s midterm elections. Despite promises by Democratic leaders to legalize marijuana nationwide, this issue remains stalled in Congress. Oklahoma voters will also have the opportunity to vote on marijuana legalization in a special election in March. Other states are likely to legalize medical and recreational marijuana in the coming years. As public support continues to grow and the number of marijuana stocks grows rapidly, more states are considering potential tax revenue from selling cannabis.

“This legalization will help right the wrongs of the war on drugs and, you know, help affected communities,” Kris Furnish, president of Maryland Marijuana Justice, told WOBC. “It was an attack on black and brown people from day one and it`s still true today.” A recent Pew Research poll shows that 91% of Americans say time to legalize at least some marijuana uses. Gallup polls indicate that two-thirds of Americans support full legalization of weed. Rejected voting measures in Arkansas and the Dakotas do not mean a rejection of legalization, Armentano says. Two forces have come together against the election measures, he says: All three states are Republican strongholds, and the demographics of midterm voters are historically older and less progressive. “Gallup polls show that half of Republican voters now support legal marijuana. Support among young Republicans is particularly high, says Morgan Fox, policy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML): “It`s hard to find a problem right now that has as much public support as ending cannabis prohibition.” It seems increasingly likely that bipartisan efforts will be made to legalize cannabis at the federal level in the coming years. For Kevin Sabet, whose organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana fought to defeat each of the five ballots, election day was a victory. He sees voter rejection as a sign that nationwide legalization is not a sure thing. South Dakota voters had previously approved recreational marijuana use in 2020, but the decision was overturned by the state Supreme Court. The outcome of the election measure is uncertain — recent polling data from local media group Keloland shows that nearly 40 percent of respondents support legalizing recreational marijuana use, while 51 percent oppose it.

Opponents cite Colorado as evidence that legalization can have negative effects. The Colorado Department of Criminal Justice regularly reports on the effects of cannabis after legalization. Some may point to staggering statistics released last year that revealed that the number of drunk driving subpoenas where drivers tested positive for marijuana increased by 120 percent from 2014 to 2020. And nearly three-quarters of people aged 10 to 17 in addiction treatment say marijuana is their main drug. The medical and recreational use of marijuana remains illegal nationally, with the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classifying cannabis as a Schedule I drug. Despite this classification, which is reserved for substances with no accepted medical use and high potential for abuse, the medical benefits of marijuana are hard to deny. Voting measures in Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota gave voters the opportunity to legalize marijuana in the 2022 election. The Associated Press said Maryland voters approved legalization Tuesday night. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, agrees that the organization may need to be reconsidered.

She hired an external consultant to kick off the review process, which she says will take a month. While Republicans and Democrats differ greatly on whether marijuana should be legal for media and recreational use, there are also age differences within each party. Critics of legal marijuana cite the potential for confusion among law enforcement agencies that track regulatory changes, concerns about minors` access to the drug, a potential decline in property values, and more to maintain marijuana`s status as an illegal drug. (Although it appears that legal cannabis can actually increase property value.) Ideological differences are evident within each party. About four in ten conservative Republicans (37%) say marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use, compared to a 60% majority of moderate and liberal Republicans. The passage of this amendment triggered additional legislation that will overturn convictions for conduct that has become legal under the new law, provide grants to better support minority businesses and women in the cannabis industry, and lift criminal penalties for possession of 2.5 ounces of marijuana. “National polls have consistently shown that an overwhelming majority of Marylanders support cannabis legalization, and the outcome of this referendum has never been in doubt,” Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said in a press release. “Now it`s up to legislators to quickly pass rules to oversee a regulated cannabis market in accordance with voter demands.” Cannabis will be on the ballot in Arkansas after the state Supreme Court overturned a decision of the election council.

Arkansas first approved medical marijuana in 2016. If voters pass No. 4 — a change that would allow “the possession, personal use, and use of cannabis by adults” as well as its cultivation and sale — the state would be one of the few in the South to legalize recreational cannabis. A mid-October poll by the Arkansas news site Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College found that 50.5 percent of respondents would support the measure, 43 percent would oppose it and 6.5 percent would be undecided.