EXPLAINER: Which states put marijuana on the ballot in 2022?

Oct 24, 2022, 12:03 PM | Updated: 1:06 pm
FILE - An employee at the Good Leaf Dispensary measures out marijuana for a customer on the reserva...

FILE - An employee at the Good Leaf Dispensary measures out marijuana for a customer on the reservation Mohawks call Akwesasne, on March 14, 2022, in St. Regis, N.Y. Pot is a popular topic on ballots again this November election. Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota have measures on their ballots to amend their constitutions and legalize recreational marijuana for those 21 and older. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Recreational marijuana could be legal in half the country if the handful of states with cannabis measures on ballots this November pass them.

Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota have measures on their ballots this fall for voters to consider legalizing recreational marijuana. They would join 19 states and the District of Columbia with recreational cannabis.

A decade since Colorado and Washington approved recreational cannabis, prohibitions have fallen across the country: in big, populous states like California and New York and smaller rural ones like Maine and Vermont. States in the Deep South have not legalized marijuana for recreational use, for the most part, but many have enacted medical cannabis programs.

Here’s more on the states looking at legalizing recreational marijuana:

WHERE IS THE MARIJUANA MOVEMENT HEADED NEXT?

— The Arkansas Supreme Court cleared the way in September for voters to consider whether people 21 and over could use recreational marijuana. The court reversed a decision by the Board of Election Commissioners, which said the proposal didn’t explain the impact. Arkansas approved medical marijuana in 2016.

— Maryland lawmakers voted earlier this year to put the question on the ballot, asking voters if marijuana should be legal for those 21 and older. The proposed constitutional amendment says recreational marijuana wouldn’t be legal until July 2023, with a transitional period between Jan. 1 and July 1.

— Missouri’s amendment likewise would approve cannabis for this 21 and older. People also start buying and growing it for personal use as early as this year. Missouri voters approved medical marijuana in 2018. Missouri’s Republican-led Legislature has failed to pass recreational marijuana use for years, leading advocates to go to voters for approval instead.

— A North Dakota ballot initiative succeeded in placing the recreational marijuana question before voters this year. That means if the question is approved those 21 and older could legally use marijuana at home as well as possess and cultivate a controlled amount of cannabis. The measure also sets up policies to regulate retail stores, cultivators, and other marijuana businesses.

— South Dakota voters passed a cannabis legalization amendment in 2020, but Gov. Kristi Noem backed a lawsuit challenging it, and the state Supreme court ruled it violated the state Constitution. This year, voters again will have a chance to weigh in on legalizing recreational marijuana for those 21 and over.

— Backers of a ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana in Oklahoma got enough signatures to get the issue before voters there but not in time to get it on this November’s ballot. They’ll vote on it in March instead.

CANNABIS IS OK SEEMINGLY EVERYWHERE NOW, AT LEAST MEDICAL MARIJUANA. WHERE IS IT ILLEGAL?

Federally, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug, alongside heroin and LSD, and can carry criminal penalties for possession.

Idaho, Kansas and Nebraska are the only states that have not implemented any kind of public-use marijuana program, either medical or recreational, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

WHAT ELSE IS CHANGING WITH MARIJUANA LAWS?

In October, Democratic President Joe Biden announced he was pardoning thousands of people for federal marijuana possession convictions.

He also directed the the secretary of Health and Human Services and the U.S. attorney general to review how marijuana is categorized under federal law. The White House did not set a timeline for the review. Biden also said he believes that as federal and state marijuana laws loosen, there should be limitations on trafficking, marketing and underage sales.

___

Mike Catalini can be reached at https://twitter.com/mikecatalini

___

Check out https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections to learn more about the issues and factors at play in the 2022 midterm elections.

___

Follow AP’s coverage of the 2022 midterm elections at: https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds hits a single against the Chicago Cubs during the third in...
Associated Press

Bonds, Clemens left out of Hall again; McGriff elected

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling were passed over by a Baseball Hall of Fame committee that elected former big league slugger Fred McGriff to Cooperstown on Sunday. It was the first time that Bonds, Clemens and Schilling had faced a Hall committee since their 10th and final appearances on […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Capital murder defendant and former U.S. Border Patrol Juan David Ortiz looks around the cou...
Associated Press

Jurors hear ex-Border Patrol agent’s confession in killings

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Jurors in the capital murder trial of a former U.S. Border Patrol agent have heard a taped interview in which he confesses to the 2018 killings of four sex workers in South Texas. If convicted of capital murder, Juan David Ortiz, 39, faces life in prison without parole because prosecutors are […]
19 hours ago
FILE - A Twitter logo hangs outside the company's San Francisco offices on Nov. 1, 2022. A top Euro...
Associated Press

As Musk is learning, content moderation is a messy job

Now that he’s back on Twitter, neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin wants somebody to explain the rules. Anglin, the founder of an infamous neo-Nazi website, was reinstated Thursday, one of many previously banned users to benefit from an amnesty granted by Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk. The next day, Musk banished Ye, the rapper formerly known as […]
19 hours ago
FILE - In this photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by th...
Associated Press

Iran morality police status unclear after ‘closure’ comment

CAIRO (AP) — An Iranian lawmaker said Sunday that Iran’s government is “paying attention to the people’s real demands,” state media reported, a day after a top official suggested that the country’s morality police whose conduct helped trigger months of protests has been shut down. The role of the morality police, which enforces veiling laws, […]
19 hours ago
Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the J Street National Conference at the Omni Shoreham H...
Associated Press

Blinken vows US support for Israel despite unease over gov’t

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday the U.S. will not shrink from its unwavering support for Israel despite stark differences with Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu and concerns the Biden administration may have about potential members of his incoming right-wing government. Speaking to a left-leaning group that some on the right accuse […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Farmer: Georgia dog injured saving sheep from coyote attack

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia sheepdog is recovering at home two days after killing a pack of coyotes that attacked his owner’s flock of sheep, farmer John Wierwiller said. Casper, a 20-month old Great Pyrenees from Decatur, fought off a pack of coyotes who were threatening Wierwiller’s sheep farm, he said. The fight lasted […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
EXPLAINER: Which states put marijuana on the ballot in 2022?