Recently released polls indicate that voters intend to vote affirmatively on several statewide measures to legalize the adult-use marijuana market.
“Voters’ support for repealing cannabis criminalization crosses party lines,” NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. “That is why, historically, these ballot initiative efforts have been equally successful at the ballot box in both ‘red’ states and in ‘blue’ states. We anticipate similar outcomes this November.”
In Maryland, 59 percent of residents say that they will vote ‘yes’ this November on a referendum (Question 4) that asks, “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?”
If approved by voters, adults will be legally permitted to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis and/or 12 grams of cannabis concentrates beginning next summer. However, lawmakers would still need to enact additional legislation next session to establish rules and regulations governing a legally regulated cannabis marketplace.
Statewide polling released today in Missouri similarly finds majority support for Amendment 3. According to data compiled by Survey USA, 62 percent of voters say that they are “certain to vote yes” on the measure. The amendment, which is being spearheaded by Missouri NORML and other groups, allows adults to possess (up to three ounces), to purchase (from licensed retailers), and to home cultivate (up to six flowering plants, six immature plants, and six clones) limited quantities of cannabis. It also establishes a program to automatically review and expunge those with criminal records for non-violent marijuana-related marijuana offenses, among other changes in law.
Finally, in Arkansas, voters support a proposed marijuana legalization measure by a margin of 2 to 1, according to polling data released late last week. However, it still remains unclear whether election officials will permit voters to weigh in on the issue as legal challenges regarding the initiative’s language remain pending before the state’s Supreme Court. The fate of a legalization ballot measure in Oklahoma is also awaiting a ruling from that state’s highest court.
[UPDATE: The state’s Supreme Court ruled on 9/22 that voters’ will get to decide on the initiative this election.]
Voters in North Dakota and South Dakota will also be deciding on adult-use legalization initiatives on Election Day.
In addition to these statewide efforts, voters in dozens of cities will be deciding on municipal ballot questions this fall. For instance, voters in five Texas cities – Denton, Elgin, Harker Heights, Killeen, and San Marcos – will decide on measures seeking to amend local laws curtailing police officers’ authority to “issue citations or make arrests for Class A or Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana offenses” absent a defendant’s alleged involvement in a “felony level narcotics” case. Voters in several Ohio cities will also decide on municipal measures depenalizing activities involving marijuana possession.
In Rhode Island, voters in 31 towns will decide on measures determining whether or not to allow licensed cannabis retailers in their localities. Voters in cities in several other states, including Colorado, Michigan, and Montana, will decide on similar local ballot measures as well.
For a detailed breakdown of 2022 ballot initiatives, please visit NORML’s Election Central.