Perspectives: Marijuana Legalization is On the Ballot In These Five States

Headline Roundup October 28th, 2020

This election year, voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota are voting on the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes. In Mississippi and South Dakota (on a separate ballot measure), voters can also cast their vote to legalize medical marijuana. Currently, marijuana is illegal at the federal level, though eleven states have also have legalized the possession and recreational use of marijuana by anyone over the age of 21.

Several voices from the left and center point to the ballot measures as a reflection of a cultural shift in perspective when it comes to marijuana legalization, citing a 2019 Gallup poll which found that approximately two-thirds of Americans support legalization, and a Quinnipac University poll that showed 58 percent of participants supported legalization. Some left- and center-rated outlets framed the ballot measures as likely to pass, citing the polls as well as "past precedent." Some coverage from the right framed marijuana ballot measures as a Democratic Party effort "to swing the race."

Perspectives: Marijuana Legalization is On the Ballot In These Five States

From the Right
311
ANALYSIS

Pro-pot activists are convinced that marijuana ballot measures will help juice voter turnout this year and potentially push Democrats over the top in key states such as Arizona and Montana — a political calculus President Trump has fretted about.
Marijuana legalization measures are on the ballot in those two states, home to competitive presidential and/or Senate contests, plus Mississippi, New Jersey, and South Dakota.

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From the Left
311
ANALYSIS

Between the presidential election, governors’ races, and down-ballot contests, this year’s election features a lot of important choices. Among those, voters in five states will have a chance to legalize marijuana for recreational or medical uses.

In Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota, voters could legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. In Mississippi and South Dakota (in a ballot initiative separate from the full legalization measure), voters could also legalize medical marijuana.

If all these measures are approved, the United States would go from having 11 states in which marijuana...

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From the Center
311
OPINION

Millions of Americans will head to the polls in the coming days and cast votes on whether or not to legalize the use of marijuana in their states. If past is precedent, most — if not all — of these statewide ballot measures will be enacted into law.

Beginning with California in 1996, voters in multiple jurisdictions nationwide have voted well over two-dozen times on Election Day in favor of marijuana legalization measures.

Currently, 34 states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books regulating the production and...

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