Cannabis is on the ballot in 5 states. Here are our predictions on which states will pass medical and adult-use weed.
In exactly one week, voters will flock to the polls across the country. Many have already mailed in their ballots. During this election, voters in 5 states will have the choice to legalize pot. In all of these states, insiders predict at least 1 weed measure to pass. Keep reading to find out more about the measures and our predictions for each state.
COVID-19 Derails Cannabis Legalization In 6 States
At the start of 2020, about 12 states were expected to vote on medical or adult-use measures on election day. After COVID-19 hit, groups had a tough time trying to collect the necessary signatures for their ballot measures. Some groups had to cut their efforts short. Here are the 6 states that were close to getting weed measures on the ballot.
- Nebraska: Advocates raised the necessary voter signatures needed for its medical pot measure. Even the Secretary of State approved the measure. The state Supreme Court ruled the ballot measure violated the single-subject rule of the state constitution.
- Oklahoma: State Question 807 would have legalized adult-use weed. COVID-19 and legal challenges stalled signature-collecting efforts. In late June, the group could continue gathering signatures. By then, the pandemic made it nearly impossible to collect the 178,958 necessary signatures by late August.
- Idaho: The state's campaign was set to collect the necessary 55,057 signatures required. At 40,000 signatures, they were close. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, caused the campaign to suspend its operations.
- Arkansas: A lack of funding and COVID-19 concerns ended weed legalization efforts from two groups. An appeals court placed a stay on a ruling that would’ve allowed one group to collect signatures remotely.
- North Dakota: In April 2020, the state’s campaign suspended its effort to legalize weed. The COVID-19 pandemic hit the campaign hard. They didn't have mail or online alternatives to gather signatures. They plan to continue their campaign in 2022.
- Missouri: The state’s measure to legalize adult-use weed was another measure affected by the pandemic. Organizers cited a lack of resources and pandemic concerns for their failed efforts.
2020 Cannabis Ballot Measures Are Set to Pass
At the federal level, weed is still illegal. However, 33 states and the District of Columbia allow for medical pot use. 11 of these states (and D.C.) also allow adult-use weed. In 5 states, voters will have the chance to legalize weed for medical and/or adult-use. Recent polls show that support for these measures is at an all-time high.
State voters are set to vote on adult-use weed. Public Question 1 would legalize adult-use pot cultivation, processing, and sale. The measure would apply the state sales tax (6.625%) to weed sales. Local governments would be able to add an additional 2% tax rate. If passed, the law would take effect on January 1, 2021.
Prediction: Public Question 1 passes.
State voters will have a second chance to pass adult-use weed. Proposition 207 would legalize possession, cultivation, and use of adult-use weed for adults 21 and older. The measure would impose a 16% excise tax on sales. The law would also amend criminal penalties for weed possession. It would also allow the expungement of weed offenses.
Prediction: Proposition 207 passes.
State voters will have a chance to vote on two weed measures: CI-118 and I-190. CI-118 would set the legal age of 21 for pot. Measure I-190 would legalize the possession and use of weed for adults over the age of 21. A 20% tax would apply to weed sales. Also, the law would allow for the resentencing or expungement of weed-related crimes.
Prediction: I-190 passes.
Medical and adult-use pot is illegal in the state. That could soon change with the election. Voters are set to vote on separate medical and adult-use measures. Measure 26 would legalize medical weed use for qualifying patients. Amendment A would legalize adult-use weed. It would also establish a 15% sales tax on weed.
Prediction: Measure 26 passes. Amendment A is defeated.
Measure 1 (Initiative 65 and Alternative 65A) asks residents if they would like to allow medical pot use for qualifying patients. Voters would then choose between Initiative 65 and Alternative 65A. Initiative 65 allows for medical pot use. It also sets up more than 20 qualifying conditions. 65A, however, would restrict smoking weed to terminally ill patients.
Prediction: Measure 1 and Initiative 65A pass.
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