Today has been a big day for cannabis policy reform! From all four corners of the country, in an incredibly diverse collection of states, every cannabis-related measure on the ballot appears to have passed. This sends a strong message to leaders in Washington and we send hearty congratulations to those who ran these campaigns. Here is a quick summary of the results as of midnight ET:
Arizona – With 75% of the vote reporting, Proposition 107, the “Smart and Safe Arizona Act,” which will legalize cannabis for adults, is ahead by a very healthy margin of 60%-40%. Passage of this measure means that existing medical cannabis operators in the state will be able to initiate sales of adult-use cannabis early next year. The victory is especially sweet for the backers of the initiative, many of whom supported a similar ballot measure in 2016 that fell just short of passage.
Mississippi – Despite the best efforts of the Mississippi legislature to prevent passage of Initiative 65, a citizen-backed medical cannabis ballot measure, the measure appears to be on its way to passage, with more than 70% of votes counted. Voters were forced to navigate a ballot which required one vote in support of medical cannabis generally and then another vote to express a preference between Initiative 65 and a more restrictive medical cannabis measure placed on the ballot by the legislature. Needing a majority on the first question and at least 40% of the total votes cast based on the second question, Initiative 65 is currently receiving about 65% of total votes cast (with 67% having voted Yes on the first question).
Montana – The voters of Montana appear to be on the way to making cannabis legal for all adults in the state. Two questions appeared on the ballot – I-190 would make cannabis possession legal for individuals 21 years of age or older and direct the Department of Revenue to regulate cannabis businesses, while CI-118 would amend the state constitution to allow the 21 year-old minimum (since individuals are otherwise deemed adults in Montana with all rights at age 18). With 38% of the votes in, support for both I-190 and CI-118 are hovering around 60%.
New Jersey – Adults in New Jersey are on their way to legal access to cannabis following a strong showing of voter support for Question 1, the Marijuana Legalization Amendment. With 59% of the vote in, Yes on Question 1 stands at an impressive 67%. Attention will now turn to the New Jersey legislature, which will need to pass legislation to implement the constitutional amendment.
South Dakota – For the first time in history, voters in a U.S. state had the opportunity to vote on a medical cannabis measure as well as a measure to legalize cannabis for all adults during the same election. Initiated Measure 26, a statutory initiative, would create a medical cannabis program in the state, while Constitutional Amendment A would make the possession of cannabis legal for adults and establish a regulated market. Initiative Measure 26 is poised to pass easily, with support currently at 69%. Topping off this highly successful day, Amendment A now stands at 52.5% with 73% of votes reported. If that margin holds, we will have a clean sweep!
We are obviously watching the other races tonight and will share some additional thoughts in the next day or two.