Last month, we posted a blog about marijuana-related measures that were up for a vote in the 2022 election. We know that you’re curious, so let’s take a look at how those election results turned out.
Proposed New Marijuana Laws
On November 8th, five states had referendums to decide whether marijuana use should be legal for adults 21 and over. Oklahoma will have a measure like this on the ballot in next year’s special election.
Here’s what voters decided on:
Legalization and Recreational Retail Regulation
Arkansans voted down a measure that would have allowed anyone 21 or older to legally purchase and possess up to an ounce of cannabis. Arkansas still has a medical marijuana program, but recreational use will remain illegal for now.
ARKANSAS ISSUE 4
- 56.3% Against
- 47.3% For
Measure 2 would have made it legal for adults 21 and older to use, possess, and grow cannabis. Unfortunately, the measure was voted down. North Dakota will remain one of the few states that do not have some sort of cannabis regulation on the books.
The bill would have also established retail cannabis stores, product manufacturers, testing laboratories, and other types of businesses related to cannabis.
NORTH DAKOTA MEASURE 2
- 54.9% Against
- 45.1% For
Legalization Without Recreational Retail Regulation
In Maryland, the following question was put to voters: “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?” Thankfully, not every state is as cannabis-unfriendly as Arkansas and North Dakota. This measure passed easily.
MARYLAND QUESTION 4
- 67.2% For
- 32.8% Against
Here, state lawmakers have already approved legislation not only setting boundaries for marijuana possession but also making it easier for people to wipe their past criminal records clean.
Citizens’ initiative Amendment 3, sponsored by the group Legal Missouri 2022, would let people 21 and older use, buy, grow, and possess marijuana. It passed by a slim margin.
MISSOURI AMENDMENT 3
- 53.1% For
- 46.9% Against
The amendment not only clears the criminal records of those who have committed nonviolent offenses concerning marijuana but also broadens industry participation to include small business owners and disadvantaged populations. Furthermore, it makes some much-needed improvements to the state’s medical marijuana access program.
For the second election in a row, voters in South Dakota attempted to legalize recreational cannabis. And again, they failed.
Measure 27 would have allowed adults to possess (up to one ounce), grow at home (up to three mature plants), and/or transfer without payment limited amounts of cannabis. The measure did not attempt to set up a regulatory framework governing the licensed production and retail sale of marijuana.
Better luck next time, Dakotas.
SOUTH DAKOTA MEASURE 27
- 52.9% Against
- 47.1% For
Cannabis Measures in Colorado
In addition, a few cities in Colorado had marijuana legalization measures on the ballot this year.
Two local ordinances were put to a vote in Colorado Springs. The first, called Question 300, was whether city dispensaries that currently only sell medical cannabis should be allowed to also sell recreational marijuana. The second ordinance, Issue 301, would impose a 5% sales tax on all transactions involving adult-use marijuana products.
Recreational cannabis sales in Colorado Springs will have to wait, as Question 300 was voted down. The sales tax, however, passed.
Supporters of the two measures argued that the city was losing out on millions of dollars in tax revenue by pushing local customers to legal recreational shops in nearby Manitou Springs or Pueblo. Both measures passing would have been a financial boon for the city, with the tax dollars on the newly legalized recreational cannabis sales being directed toward mental health and public safety programs.
COLORADO SPRINGS QUESTION 300 (REC CANNABIS)
- 54.43% Against
- 45.57% For
COLORADO SPRINGS ISSUE 301 (TAX ON MJ PRODUCTS)
- 53.93% For
- 47.07% Against
Ballot Question 300 in Lamar sought to strengthen an existing local ban on retailers and also limit local possession limits to below the amount permitted by state law. It passed.
LAMAR QUESTION 300
- 55% For
- 45% Against
Cripple Creek’s residents voted to pass an ordinance that would allow marijuana retailers with a license to operate within the city limits.
CRIPPLE CREEK 2C
- 59% For
- 41% Against
The Last Toke
With more and more states legalizing cannabis, the federal government will likely soon follow suit. There are already bills in both the House and Senate that would decriminalize marijuana nationally. Here is the current map of cannabis legalization status in the US.
You should make your voice heard on these issues relating to cannabis, especially as an increasing number of states are legalizing its use. Also, don’t forget to check the Frost Cannabis blog often for updates regarding the latest news and developments in the world of marijuana.