These States Just Voted in Favor of Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

Drug reform policies passed with flying colors in these five states.

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Although we may not yet know the results of the presidential election, we do know that the country is moving toward more widespread legalization of marijuana. On Nov. 3, in every state where cannabis reform was on the ballot, it won. This means four U.S. states will see the legalization of recreational marijuana, and another state will be tacked on to the list of states that have lawful medical marijuana use.

But although voters approved ballot measures to move toward the legalization of marijuana, we're still far off from seeing dispensaries pop up in these newly added states. According to Vox, recreational marijuana use is currently legal in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Politico reports that once the newest states officially legalize marijuana use, 1 in 3 Americans will be living in a state where recreational marijuana use is legal.

Here are the five states that voted to legalize marijuana use this November. And for more legal facts, learn the Strangest Small Town Laws in America.

1
New Jersey

New Jersey
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New Jersey voters approved the recreational use of marijuana by a wide margin, according to the Associated Press. Since the Democratic-led legislature in the state and Governor Phil Murphy have both voiced their support for the legalization of marijuana, the AP expects the movement to pass legislation quickly, allowing the state to swiftly move toward establishing a marketplace.

The state was the biggest win for marijuana advocates, as it has the largest population (8.9 million people) of any state that voted for legalization this election, according to Politico. Additionally, many advocates are hoping that New Jersey creates a domino effect leading to the legalization of marijuana in its surrounding states, including New York and Pennsylvania. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

2
Arizona

Arizona
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Arizona residents voted to approve Arizona's Proposition 207, which will allow anyone over the age of 21 to possess, consume, or transfer up to one ounce of marijuana. The proposition will also promote the creation of a regulatory system for the sale and cultivation of marijuana. Additionally, this proposition plans to amend criminal classifications and penalties related to marijuana possession and use. And to learn more about other cannabis enterprises, check out CBD Will Soon Be a $5.3 Billion Business, But Does It Work?

3
Montana

Montana
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Montana voters approved I-90, which legalizes the possession and use of one ounce of marijuana or less. The amendment also imposes a 20 percent tax on marijuana sales, requires rules to regulate marijuana businesses, and allows for the re-sentencing or expungement of past marijuana-related crimes.

According to Business Insider, Montana residents will be able to legally use marijuana on Jan. 1, 2021, but the state will not begin accepting applications for dispensaries until the following January.

4
South Dakota

The main street of Deadwood, South Dakota lined with shops and a passing vehicle.
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Amendment A was approved by voters on Nov. 3. This amendment legalizes the recreational use of marijuana for residents 21 and older. Additionally, the amendment says that those who live in a jurisdiction with no licensed marijuana retail stores are allowed to grow up to three marijuana plants in their private residence in a locked space. And for more on the effects of use, this New Study Says Marijuana Can Improve Intimacy Among Couples.

5
Mississippi

Mississippi
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Recreational marijuana use was not on the ballot in Mississippi, but medical marijuana was. Initiative 65, which allows the legal use of medical marijuana for people with debilitating conditions, was approved by a landslide in Mississippi, according to The New York Times. And for more on medical marijuana, find out why More Women Are Using Cannabis to Treat Menopause.

Allie Hogan
Allie Hogan is a Brooklyn based writer currently working on her first novel. Read more
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