In the 2020 November election, voters in five states continued the trend of liberalizing cannabis regulations across the country.
South Dakota made history by legalizing medical marijuana and recreational marijuana use on the same day. At the same time, South Dakota became the most conservative state yet to legalize adult marijuana use.
Over the past decade, polls have shown support for marijuana legalization is becoming increasingly popular. For example, a Gallup poll conducted in 2019 found that two-thirds of Americans favor marijuana legalization. Another Gallup poll conducted this year shows that 70% of Americans believe smoking marijuana is “morally acceptable”.
Prior to Election Day, 11 states and the District of Columbia allowed recreational marijuana use by adults 21 and over while 22 states had allowed medicinal use.
Other states across the country also voted to legalize recreational marijuana use by adults by an overwhelming majority. Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana for adults over 21 while Mississippi also approved a separate measure to allow medicinal marijuana use.
These passing measures now bring the number of states which have legalized recreational cannabis use to 15 and the District of Columbia, while 24 states allow medicinal use.
What’s even more impressive is that 13 of the 15 states who have legalized recreational use have done so through ballot measures and the overwhelming support of the general public.
So what’s next?
In these five states who have legalized recreational use for adults, state lawmakers must now establish a system for providing access to marijuana within the state.