Initial polling indicated that voters in Arkansas supported Responsible Growth Arkansas’s campaign to legalize recreational cannabis. The surveys conducted closer to the election showed that support was waning as opposition to the measure increased their efforts. The measure was defeated, with 55.81 percent of voters rejecting Issue 4. Had the initiative passed, it would have legalized recreational cannabis for adults 21 and older in the state. Home growing was not a part of Issue 4, but the passage would have set up a regulated cannabis market and made changes to the current medical marijuana program.
While not directly a cannabis vote, Colorado voters made a historic decision to approve the legalization of psychedelics. The vote was considered too close to call for some time but ultimately ended with 53.1 percent of Coloradans voting in favor of Proposition 122. As recently as October, Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis said he was undecided about whether he supported the legalization of psychedelics and wanted to research the subject more thoroughly. Prop 122 legalized specific psychedelics for medical and recreational use. Psilocybin, ibogaine, mescaline (that is not derived from peyote), DMT, and psilocin are legal to grow and use for personal reasons, as well as share. Colorado residents are not permitted to sell psychedelics.
While several states had ballot questions about cannabis legalization, Maryland was considered the most likely to pass. Numerous polls indicated strong voter support, and other states in the region already legalized marijuana. Maryland voters approved the referendum, known as Question 4, with 65.77 saying “yes” to legalization. Now that the referendum passed, it triggers implementation legislation that will establish the basic regulatory framework for a legal recreational cannabis industry for the state.
In September, surveys of Missouri voters showed that they were very likely to approve adult-use cannabis legalization. Results indicated that 62 percent of voters were in favor of a legal cannabis industry for the state. Voters officially approved Amendment 3, with 53.11 approving the measure from Legal Missouri 2022. The initiative will allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to three ounces of marijuana. Amendment 3 allows home growing for personal use of up to six flowering cannabis plants, six immature plants, and six clones if an individual has a registration card with the state. Current medical cannabis dispensaries in the state will be eligible to be the first retail locations to sell recreational cannabis to consumers.
Cannabis activists and legalization supporters in North Dakota face a second defeat for a legalization measure in the state. The first was a recreational marijuana legalization measure that voters rejected in 2018. Despite tireless efforts from New Approach ND, voters in the state defeated Statutory Measure 2 with a 54.95 percent majority. Had the measure passed, it would have legalized the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for adults 21 and older.
Polling for South Dakota’s marijuana legalization measure had consistently indicated that there was not sufficient support for the initiative to pass. The group behind the measure, South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, remained hopeful that the initiative would pass. However, voters rejected the measure, with 52.92 percent saying “no” to the legalization initiative on the ballot. If Measure 27 was approved, it would have legalized the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for adults 21 and older as well as allowing the home growing of up to three cannabis plants for personal use.
In addition, five cities in Texas approved cannabis decriminalization for their localities. Voters in Denton, Elgin, Harker Heights, Killeen, and San Marcos approved measures for marijuana decriminalization.