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Pot and Politics - Legal Cannabis and Psychedelics on the ballot in November 2022

This November, voting season was in full swing, with nationwide elections taking place across the United States. Several boundary pushing measures were on this year’s ballots, including the legalization of recreational cannabis and the legal use of psychedelics. And the results, for the most part, are moving the status quo in our direction, friends!


Recreational Cannabis

Adult use of cannabis was up for approval by voters in five states. Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota all took to the polls to make their opinions known.


In Maryland, voters were presented with Question 4, which was very simply put, “Do you favor the legalization of the use of cannabis by an individual who is at least 21 years of age on or after July 1, 2023, in the State of Maryland?” That’s literally all it said. And guess what - voters did favor it, with 67% of the state approving and 33% voting against it. Way to go Maryland. Maybe the secret to legalization is keeping it short and sweet.


The state of Missouri voted on Amendment 3, which essentially says “A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to remove state prohibitions on the purchase, possession, consumption, use, delivery, manufacture, and sale of marijuana for personal use for adults over the age of twenty-one. The amendment would also allow individuals with certain marijuana-related offenses to petition for release from prison or parole and probation and have their records expunged; along with imposing a six percent tax on the retail price of recreational marijuana.” The support was just enough to win, with 53% of the voters saying “yes” while 47% of voters did not support the amendment.

Arkansas’ Issue 4 was heralded as “an amendment to authorize the possession, personal use, and consumption of cannabis by adults, to authorize the cultivation and sale of cannabis by licensed commercial facilities, and to provide for the regulation of those facilities.” The vote was split 56.3% against, 43.7% for Issue 4. Don’t give up Arkansas, you’re almost there!


Measure 3 out of North Dakota was meant to “allow for the production, processing, and sale of cannabis and the possession and use of various forms of cannabis by individuals who are 21 years of age and older.” It would have even allowed for the at-home cultivation of up to three plants. 70% of the vote was against the measure, with only 30% voting to legalize cannabis. Looks like ND has a bit more work to do before their residents are convinced that legal cannabis is a good idea.


South Dakota’s initiative to legalize cannabis, Measure 27, was written to legalize “the possession, use, and distribution of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia by people age 21 and older. Individuals may possess one ounce or less of marijuana. They may also distribute one ounce or less of marijuana without payment or other consideration.” Sounds pretty good to this writer. Sadly, like Arkansas and North Dakota, the measure was defeated, though not by much, with 53% of the vote striking it down and the remaining 47% hoping to legalize. It was the closest race of the three losses.


Maryland and Missouri join 19 other states, as well as the District of Columbia and Guam (yes, Guam - it’s a US territory). Currently, if you’re planning a vacation - you should probably go to: Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, D.C., California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Michigan, Vermont, Illinois, Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Missouri, or Guam. Recreational cannabis is legal in ALL those places!


Psychedelics

Colorado isn’t scared ya’ll, not one bit. Colorado Proposition 122 asked voters to decide on psychedelics. Prop 122 is 18 pages long, but according to DenverGov.Org, “A “yes” vote on Proposition 122 requires the state to establish a regulated system for accessing psychedelic mushrooms and, if approved by the regulating state agency, additional plant-based psychedelic substances and decriminalizes the possession and use of psychedelic mushrooms and certain plant-based psychedelic substances in Colorado law for individuals aged 21 and over.” Basically, there are going to be “healing centers” where a person can be given psychedelics as a “natural medicine.” There will also be personal use allowed, with conditions.


This isn’t just mushrooms either, because Proposition 122 also defines “certain psychedelic plants and fungi as natural medicine, including dimethyltryptamine (DMT); ibogaine; mescaline (excluding peyote); psilocybin; and psilocyn.”


And can you believe it, the state that first legalized recreational cannabis has now also approved the use of psychedelics. 54% of voters agreed to let adults choose whether or not to use psychedelics, while 46% of residents were against the proposition.


Colorado joins Oregon in spearheading the wave of psychedelics acceptance. Who wants to take bets on how much tourism rises in both states over the next few years. I’ve got 5 on it.


Overall, even though every initiative did not successfully pass, the fact that they were even on the ballot in so many states is a win all by itself. It could be argued that recreational cannabis and adult use of psychedelics has never been as widely studied, understood, and accepted as it is now - and voters made that pretty clear this year. We will keep you up to date with upcoming elections and results as they occur, as long as you promise to vote for legal cannabis and psychedelics when it’s finally your turn!


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