While the November 3rd election still hangs in the balance for red or blue, green got the go.
That’s right, a green wave of cannabis legalization has crashed into multiple U.S. States. In fact, every proposed cannabis legalization ballot presented for the election passed yesterday, leading to the suggestion that this might be the beginning of lasting change – at least for cannabis legalization in the United States.
Which States Legalized Cannabis Last Night?
Here’s how the results break down:
Voters approved outright cannabis legalization (recreational and medical) in the state of Arizona with the passing or Proposition 207.
Mississippi voted yes to legalizing medical cannabis but recreational use remains illegal (Ballot Measure 1, Initiative 65 and 65A). By choosing Initiative 65A, Mississippi voters have expanded access for twenty different medical conditions.
Montana legalized adult recreational use (Marijuana Legalization Initiative, I-90).
New Jersey voted yes to legalized recreational use.
And South Dakota gave their support to Constitutional Amendment A. This effectively means that adults 21+ can possess up to one ounce of cannabis without penalty. Measure 26 was also passed in South Dakota, required the state to set up a medical cannabis program to assist in buying and growing for patients with qualifying conditions.
Meanwhile, Washington, D.C. voters approved a measure that decriminalizes psychedelics in the nation’s capital.
Oregon Decriminalize All Drugs and Legalizes Magic Mushrooms (Psilocybin)
Perhaps the most interesting state legalization, and one to keep tabs on in the days and weeks to come, is in Oregon. Oregon’s voters made their state the first in the U.S. to decriminalize possession of all drugs. Of course, the drug decriminalization has limits – it focuses on small amounts. But, the measure replaces criminal penalties for small amounts of illegal drugs with a $100 fine, which is in turn waived if the person chooses to visit an addiction recovery centre. Quite positively, the approved ballot measure will use cannabis tax revenue to fund expanded rehabilitation and treatment services.
But that’s not all. Apart from decriminalization, Oregon’s voters also approved a measure legalizing psilocybin therapy. This opens the door for legal psychedelic therapy with magic mushrooms, something never before seen in the U.S. The potential of this for patients suffering PTSD, depression, and other mental health disorders is great. They’ll be able to receive guided, controlled, therapy from professionals – not have to dose themselves and hope for the best.
Overall, this level of drug toleration is unprecedented in U.S. history. Better, it represents a possible handhold for further legalization measures. While separate states will still maintain the right to legalize as they wish, the green wave is rising. This kind of change always leads to more information on the results of legalization; and to more robust research in the legalized states.
Decriminalization And Change
With any luck, the remarkable decriminalization of Oregon’s ballots will spur further change. Suggestions for such a change recently took place in Canada. Yet, Portugal remains the only nation in the world to actually decriminalize all drugs.
The change, however, was no silver bullet for the Portuguese. But, the country did see a marked drop in deaths and blood borne disease infections; as well as lower drug use overall. Oregon can now serve as the first de-facto test market for drug decriminalization in North America. This is a process other potentially decriminalizing states (or countries like Canada) will no doubt watch with great interest.
When Will My State Legalize Cannabis?
For those watching U.S. politics right now, the moves towards cannabis legalization in these states serve as a happy distraction from other election chaos. These serve to remind the population that positive change, while slow (and capable of some false starts at times) does eventually creep forward.
If these results prove anything, it should be that legalization in the states always gets easier after somebody else does it – and at this rate, it looks like a lot more states will be seeing legalization’s benefits soon.
What to know what’s legal to grow cannabis in your state? Try this LINK.