This fall, not only will the US be electing a new president, but 8 states are also putting recreational cannabis legalization on their ballots. If ballot measures pass in all 8 states, then close cannabis will be legal in some form in close to two thirds of the country.
The states putting cannabis on the ballot are: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Nevada.
This will be Florida’s second time voting on the measure, which came close to passing the last time Florida voted on it in 2014. Unlike other states, Florida requires a majority of 60 percent to pass instead of a simple majority vote.
In California, 60 percent of residents favor legalizing cannabis, while 37 percent are opposed according to a Public Policy Poll. The California chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) estimates that legalizing cannabis for recreational use will produce up to one billion dollars in tax revenue and save 100 million in law enforcement costs.
Missouri has tried to pass marijuana reform before, back in 2015 but the measure was defeated. Hopefully this time their chances of passing it are higher, since only medical cannabis is on the ballot.
If all 8 of these states vote to legalize cannabis this fall, then that will leave only 17 states where cannabis remains illegal. This vote could set the stage for the remaining states to put cannabis on their ballots, or force Congress’s hand in legalizing cannabis nationwide. Only time will tell.