Legalization Proponents Turn In Signatures for 2020 Ballot Initiatives

Phoenix, AZ: Proponents of various statewide initiative efforts to legalize marijuana access recently turned in signatures to qualify their respective measures for the November 2020 ballot.

In Arizona, proponents of a statewide initiative to legalize the sale of marijuana to adults
filed over 420,000 signatures from registered voters with the Secretary of State’s Office. That total is nearly twice the number of signatures necessary to qualify it for the November 2020 ballot.

The measure, known as the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, was filed last year by a coalition of advocacy groups, including Arizona NORML. According to polling data collected in early June, an estimated two-thirds of Arizona voters say that they will “definitely” or “probably” vote ‘yes’ on the measure if it appears on the November ballot.

The Act permits those 21 or older to possess up to one ounce of cannabis and directs revenue from retail cannabis sales to fund various public education and safety programs. Adults would also be able to cultivate up to six plants for non-commercial purposes in a private residence. Those with marijuana convictions would be permitted to petition the courts to have their records expunged.

In Montana, coalition members affiliated with New Approach Montana recently filed 130,000 signatures to qualify a pair of complimentary ballot initiatives to regulate the commercial, adult-use cannabis market. State rules require the state to validate 25,000 signatures to qualify the first measure for the November ballot, and another 51,000 signatures to validate the second.

In Nebraska, members of the coalition Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana turned in over 182,000 signatures from registered voters to qualify a medical cannabis legalization measure for the 2020 ballot. To qualify, state officials must validate 121,000 signatures.

The proposed initiative amends “the Nebraska Constitution to provide the right to use, possess, access, and safely produce cannabis, and cannabis products and materials, for serious medical conditions as recommended by a physician or nurse practitioner.” Nebraska is one of the only states in the nation that doesn’t permit regulated access to either whole-plant cannabis or CBD.

Adult-use ballot initiatives have already qualified for the ballot in New Jersey and South Dakota. Ballot initiatives to legalize medical access to cannabis will appear on the ballot in Mississippi and South Dakota.

Additional information on these and other pending 2020 initiative efforts is available from NORML.