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Green wave: These are the states that legalised marijuana

Previously, 11 states had legalised recreational marijuana use 

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Wednesday 04 November 2020 16:09 GMT
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These are the states that legalised marijuana
These are the states that legalised marijuana (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

As election results continue to trickle in, marijuana legalisation for recreational and medical use has emerged as one of the night’s clear winners.

Residents in New Jersey, Montana, South Dakota and Arizona voted yes on ballot measures that will legalise recreational marijuana use, with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy tweeting out his approval late on election night.

“We did it, New Jersey!” the governor wrote. “Public Question #1 to legalise adult-use marijuana passed overwhelmingly tonight, a huge step forward for racial and social justice and our economy.”

In South Dakota, voters also passed ballot measures that will see medical use of marijuana legalised, making the state the first-ever to approve both at the same time.

Mississippi voters approved medical marijuana use for people with debilitating conditions as well.

Overall, the election results will mean that recreational marijuana will now be legal in 15 states and the District of Columbia, while medical use will be legal in 35 states.

This is what you need to know about marijuana legislation in these states.

In New Jersey, the state’s ballot question regarding recreational marijuana use was passed by a 67 per cent to 33 per cent margin.

The New Jersey state legislature and Cannabis Regulatory Commission will now work together on the new policy.

The state first passed medical marijuana usage in 2010.

In Arizona, proposition 207 legalises marijuana possession up to an ounce for adults 21 and older, with the state planning to set up a licensing system for retail sales.

According to AZCentral, sales of marijuana in the state could begin as early as March.

The ballot measure also allows people with past marijuana convictions to petition the courts to have these records expunged, and for citizens to grow up to six plants.

Voters in Montana passed two initiatives that would allow for the sale and use of recreational marijuana, despite concerns that only one would pass.

Under constitutional amendment CI-118, the legislature is able to be changed to allow the state to set the buying age to 21.

The ballot’s complimentary measure, I-190, which creates rules for use of marijuana, such as the option for individual counties to ban dispensaries, was also passed.

According to the Great Falls Tribune, the Montana Office of Budget and Program Planning has estimated that legalising marijuana could create $38.5m in revenue for the state by 2025.

The state already allowed medical marijuana use.

In South Dakota, voters passed ballot measures that would legalise both recreational and medical marijuana.

On Election Day, the state’s Constitutional Amendment A legalised marijuana possession and the sale to people 21 years of age and older.

The amendment also allows citizens to grow up to three plants and allows distribution and sales of marijuana with a 15 per cent tax.

Additionally, the state passed ballot measures that will allow people with debilitating conditions to obtain marijuana.

Mississippi’s voters passed initiative 65, which means medical marijuana will become legal for people with debilitating medical conditions.

According to The New York Times, it passed by 74 per cent to 25.9 per cent.

With the passing of the new ballot measures, Politico reports that one in three Americans will now live in a state where recreational marijuana is legal.

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