5 States Legalize Recreational and Medical Weed, Making 2020 an Epic Year for Cannabis Reform

Five states have legalized cannabis for recreational and medical purposes, showing that prohibition is increasingly in tatters as drug reform efforts hit a high point across the United States, making 2020 one of the biggest years yet for cannabis reform efforts.

On Election Day, a majority in New Jersey, Arizona and Montana voted yes to approve ballot measures making recreational use legal. Meanwhile in South Dakota and Mississippi, voters have also approved cannabis for medical purposes.

Voters in New Jersey approved the measure to make the Garden State greener come Jan. 1, but legislators are now being tasked to draft and pass legislation that would hammer out the details of how the new policy will actually be implemented.

Lawmakers will also have to pass another measure that will establish the legal weed market. Cannabis sales will be taxed at 6.625 percent, along with an additional 2 percent tax from local city governments.

The approval of the measure throws down a gauntlet for politicians in neighboring states like New York and Pennsylvania, where lawmakers have faced a logjam in passing legalization measures. Legislators fear that if they don’t take action, they risk losing a competitive edge to New Jersey in potentially one of the largest cannabis markets in the country, reports The New York Times.

In Arizona, cannabis was also comprehensively legalized for adults aged 21 and older, who will be allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of the plant. Under Proposition 207, the state will establish a licensing system as soon as March, reports AZ Central. Up to six plants will also be allowed for people to grow at home.

The state’s 120 medical cannabis dispensaries will now be allowed to sell cannabis to anyone over 21, while the new law also includes social equity measures granting licenses to people from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs. Those convicted of certain crimes related to the plant can also seek the expungement of their records.

In Montana, two cannabis-related measures were passed that comprehensively legalize the recreational use of the plant, reports Great Falls Tribune. However, one of the measures levies a whopping 20 percent tax on the plant while granting individual counties the ability to prohibit dispensaries, while the other measure sets the minimum purchasing age at 21. Possession of up to 1 ounce is allowed under the new rules.

People with cannabis-related convictions can also seek resentencing or expungement for past offenses.

South Dakota’s voters also approved a joint initiative that gives the go-ahead to medical cannabis as well as recreational use of cannabis. Amendment A gives adults 21 and over the ability to possess and distribute up to an ounce of herb, while medical patients with prescriptions can have up to 3 ounces, reports KITV.

In Mississippi, a massive 75 percent of the electorate approved medical cannabis in the state, which will grant doctors the ability to prescribe the plant to people with any of 22 health conditions, including HIV, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and sickle-cell anemia, reports the Clarion Ledger.

According to recent data from the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of the public in the U.S. favors the legalization of cannabis—a sure sign of the anti-prohibitionist mood of most Americans, especially millennials. For many, the sentiment is less about politics or partying, and more a simple matter of wanting to put an end to the failed “War on Drugs” and its disproportionate and unjust impact on poor communities of color.

Cannabis reform advocacy group NORML rang in the new year calling 2020 the “biggest year yet” for reform, and these new states that have legalized recreational or medical herb join twenty-five other states and the District of Columbia that have either legalized or decriminalized possession and use of the plant for adults over the age of 21, while medical cannabis was legal in 33 states.

Voters in New Jersey approved the measure to make the Garden State greener come Jan. 1, but legislators are now being tasked to draft and pass legislation that would hammer out the details of how the new policy will actually be implemented.

Lawmakers will also have to pass another measure that will establish the legal weed market. Cannabis sales will be taxed at 6.625 percent, along with an additional 2 percent tax from local city governments.

In Arizona, cannabis was also comprehensively legalized for adults aged 21 and older, who will be allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of the plant. Under Proposition 207, the state will establish a licensing system as soon as March, reports AZ Central. Up to six plants will also be allowed for people to grow at home.

The state’s 120 medical cannabis dispensaries will now be allowed to sell cannabis to anyone over 21, while the new law also includes social equity measures granting licenses to people from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs. Those convicted of certain crimes related to the plant can also seek the expungement of their records.

In Montana, two cannabis-related measures were passed that comprehensively legalize the recreational use of the plant, reports Great Falls Tribune. However, one of the measures levies a whopping 20 percent tax on the plant while granting individual counties the ability to prohibit dispensaries, while the other measure sets the minimum purchasing age at 21. Possession of up to 1 ounce is allowed under the new rules.

People with cannabis-related convictions can also seek resentencing or expungement for past offenses.

South Dakota’s voters also approved a joint initiative that gives the go-ahead to medical cannabis as well as recreational use of cannabis. Amendment A gives adults 21 and over the ability to possess and distribute up to an ounce of herb, while medical patients with prescriptions can have up to 3 ounces, reports KITV.

In Mississippi, a massive 75 percent of the electorate approved medical cannabis in the state, which will grant doctors the ability to prescribe the plant to people with any of 22 health conditions, including HIV, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and sickle-cell anemia, reports the Clarion Ledger.

According to recent data from the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of the public in the U.S. favors the legalization of cannabis—a sure sign of the anti-prohibitionist mood of most Americans, especially millennials. For many, the sentiment is less about politics or partying, and more a simple matter of wanting to put an end to the failed “War on Drugs” and its disproportionate and unjust impact on poor communities of color.

Cannabis reform advocacy group NORML rang in the new year calling 2020 the “biggest year yet” for reform, and these new states that have legalized recreational or medical herb join twenty-five other states and the District of Columbia that have either legalized or decriminalized possession and use of the plant for adults over the age of 21, while medical cannabis was legal in 33 states.

Republished from ZeroHedge.com with permission

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