2 States Approve Legal Weed, 2 States Reject It

And results in a 5th state were not yet clear
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2022 5:34 PM CST
Updated Nov 9, 2022 2:15 AM CST
Marijuana Is on the Ballot in 5 States
An employee at the Good Leaf Dispensary measures out marijuana for a customer in St. Regis, NY.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Legalizing recreational marijuana was on the ballot in five states in the midterm elections Tuesday. The AP projected early in the night that Maryland voted heavily in favor of legalization. "Tonight voters in Maryland made history by bringing the era of failed marijuana prohibition to an end," said legalization campaign chair Eugene Monroe, a former Baltimore Ravens player, per the Washington Post. Legalization was also on the ballot in Arkansas, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota. A state-by-state look with updates on current results:

  • Arkansas. The proposed constitutional amendment in Arkansas has, unusually, been condemned by some legalization advocates as well as state Republican leaders. Melissa Fults, a board member of the Arkansas chapter for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, tells CNN that the amendment will create a "huge monopoly." "It was written by the cultivators, paid for by the cultivators, and only benefits the cultivators," she says. "It will hurt patients, consumers and Arkansans." It was rejected, per the AP.

  • Maryland. Maryland's "Question 4" would legalize recreational marijuana and assist minority and women-owned businesses entering the marketplace, CNBC reports. A Washington Post-University of Maryland poll found 73% of voters favor legalization. The measure passed.
  • Missouri. Missouri's proposed amendment includes a 6% tax on marijuana sales. A recent SurveyUSA poll found 61% in favor, People reports. The AP reports that in Missouri and Arkansas, more than 85% contributions to legalization campaigns have come from donors associated with companies holding medical marijuana licenses. Missouri's measure passed.
  • North Dakota. Legalization of marijuana for recreational use was on the ballot in North Dakota in 2018, but it was rejected 41% to 59%, per CNBC. Jared Moffat, the campaign director for New Approach North Dakota, says new safeguards, including DUI guidelines, would boost the chances of success this time around. But the measure was ultimately rejected.
  • South Dakota. The measure on the ballot in South Dakota would legalize possession and home-growth but, unlike in the other four states voting Tuesday, it would not create a legal marketplace. The state voted in favor of legalization in 2020, but its Supreme Court struck the measure down. By early Wednesday the results had not yet been called, but "no" was in the lead.
(More 2022 midterms stories.)

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