Legalization has been a hot topic in the United States over the last decade or so. With the November elections right around the corner, here are the states that are relying on voters to determine whether legalization happens or not.

The campaign to put legalization on the ballot was accomplished in Arkansas a couple months ago. This happened after the organization Responsible Growth Arkansas turned in enough votes for this movement to be put on. If voters choose to legalize, multiple different things will happen. Adults over 21 would be allowed to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis from licensed retailers. Home cultivation would not be allowed. Legalization would also alter the way the state handles marijuana. Regulation would be transferred to the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Division.

If voters choose to legalize marijuana in Maryland, adults over 21 would be allowed to purchase and possess up to 1.5 ounces of the substance. Criminal penalties for marijuana would also be removed for cases up to 2.5 ounces. Adults would also be allowed to grow cannabis in their home. The growers would only be allowed 2 plants in total though. Along with these benefits, all prior convictions under the new proposed laws would be expunged and those serving time would be up for resentencing.

Legalization in Missouri would mean adults over 21 would be able to purchase and possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis. Missouri residents would also be allowed to grow and possess up to 6 marijuana plants. A 6% tax on recreational cannabis sales would be implemented to fund the expungements for those with non-violent marijuana offenses on their records. The remaining funds will go to veterans’ healthcare and other substance abuse programs. Another large step for Missouri included in legalization would be the protection of employment for medical cannabis patients. This would ban businesses from discriminating against those who consume cannabis. Currently, 62% of Missouri voters are in favor of legalization.

  • North Dakota

Legalization in this state would allow those over 21 to possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis, 4 grams of marijuana concentrate and grow up to 3 plants for personal use. Many regulations and rules are still being developed and the state says that the regulators would have until October 2023 to determine packaging and regulation standards.

  • South Dakota

Legalization in South Dakota has been a rocky road. Many in the state are still reeling from the attempt to legalize back in 2020. This initiative did not fail by the voters, but instead was invalidated in court. This time around many expect the vote to accomplish their goal. Regulations and other rules are still to be determined but we will know soon after the vote happens.

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