Voters in Four States Legalize Marijuana as Oregon Decriminalizes Hard Drugs

While the election results were largely split between Democrats and Republicans on Tuesday, drug referendums saw big wins in even the reddest of states, BuzzFeed News reports.

Residents in Arizona, Montana, South Dakota, and New Jersey voted to legalize recreational marijuana.

New Jersey will still need to create new rules to implement marijuana sales.

Arizona’s measure also allows people with past convictions to seek to overturn their sentences.

South Dakota and Montana join Washington DC and 11 other states that have already legalized recreational cannabis.

“Until now, Arizona had imposed some of the strictest prohibition laws in the country; in some instances, the possession of even small amounts of marijuana was classified as a felony,” Erik Altieri, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, told Marijuana Moment. “By rejecting this failed policy, no Arizonan going forward will be saddled with a criminal conviction for engaging in the personal possession or cultivation of cannabis, or face the lifelong stigma that comes with it.”

Some legalize medical weed:

Voters in South Dakota and Mississippi also legalized the medical use of cannabis.

Mississippi’s voters approved the measure by a whopping 74-26 margin.

In South Dakota, the measure garnered enough support after failing the first two times it appeared on the ballot. In 2010, nearly two-thirds of voters rejected it.

Oregon decriminalizes hard drugs:

Oregon voters went further, decriminalizing hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, and methamphetamine while outright legalizing psychedelic mushrooms. Psychedelic mushrooms were also legalized in Washington DC.

Oregon’s measure means that residents will no longer face arrest for carrying small amounts of drugs. The measure received nearly 60% support.

The measure also creates guidelines for people to get treatment rather than jail time.

“This is the most significant reform in our nation’s failed drug policies in a generation,” Kassandra Frederique, the executive director of Drug Policy Alliance, told The Washington Post. “It’s particularly significant because most people don’t realize that drug possession is the number one arrest in the country.”


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