The United States is on the finishing end of the 2020 election, including several cannabis legalization measures in a handful of states. Fortunately for cannabis advocates, four states have legalized cannabis for adult-use while another has legalized it for medical use. This clearly was an important election for the country, in more ways than one.
States that Allow Recreational Cannabis
Four states have legalized cannabis for recreational use: New Jersey, Montana, South Dakota, and Arizona. These legalizations take effect at different times throughout the year.
Montana and New Jersey will allow adults 18 and older to possess, use and grow cannabis starting Jan. 1, 2021. However, recreational sales won’t start for some time.
For New Jersey, the state is tasked with setting up rules and regulations for the consumer marketplace. However, New Jersey becomes the first mid-Atlantic state to pass such a measure.
Unfortunately, Montana residents are going to have to wait a little before they can legally purchase cannabis. Recreational sales in Montana won’t start until January 2022.
“We did it, New Jersey!” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted. “Public Question #1 to legalize adult-use marijuana passed overwhelmingly tonight, a huge step forward for racial and social justice and our economy.”
Arizona also legalized recreational cannabis, but there is no clear sign of when it will become bel legal to possess cannabis. However, retail could start as soon as April 2021 in the state.
Finally, South Dakota is the fourth state to legalize cannabis for recreational use, but residents will still have to wait sometime. Cannabis will remain illegal until July 2021. In the meantime, the state has until April 2022 to develop rules and regulations for the market. Medical cannabis sales will start in July 2021.
Medical and Other Related-Legalizations
While four states to legalize cannabis already sounds like an incredible achievement for the country, there is still more good news! Mississippi has legalized cannabis for strictly medical cannabis. The state has until July 2021 to create rules and regulations surrounding the measure.
Finally, Oregon brought upon the most surprising legalization from the entire election. The state became the first to legalize the medical use of psilocybin, most commonly found in so-called magic mushrooms. After a two-year development period, medical use will become available for the state.
Additionally, Oregon also passed a measure that decriminalized personal amounts of all drugs. In other words, it is no longer a crime to carry small quantities of street drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine. However, this does not mean it is legal to consume these drugs in public. It simply means jail time is no longer the only option for punishment. Instead, a fine may be issued if caught in possession of these substances.
Nonetheless, this election proved to be a huge accomplishment for cannabis advocates. With these new states, there are now 15 states and Washington D.C. to have legalized cannabis recreationally. Additionally, medical marijuana is legal in 33 U.S. states and the District of Columbia: