National cannabis policy leaders with expertise in cannabis ballot measures and implementation available to provide commentary and analysis; areas of specialization include implementation of new state laws, development of regulations, economic impacts, and implications for federal policy reform
Voters in Maryland and Missouri approved ballot measures Tuesday to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use. Similar measures were defeated in Arkansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
Leaders of cannabis policy and public affairs firm VS Strategies are available to provide commentary and analysis on a wide range of cannabis-related issues leading up to and following Election Day. VSS team members played leading roles in passing and implementing Colorado’s adult-use legalization initiative, and they have worked at the forefront of similar policy changes across the country, providing guidance to governments, advocacy organizations, businesses, and trade associations. See below for more information about VSS and firm leaders.
Maryland Question 4 was referred to the ballot by the Legislature, while Missouri Amendment 3 was placed on the ballot via citizen initiative. Both measures make possession of limited amounts of cannabis legal for adults 21 and older and authorize the regulated production and sale of cannabis for adult use.
Adult-use legalization laws have now been adopted in 21 states, D.C., and two U.S. territories, while an additional 16 states and two territories have legalized cannabis for medical use. See below for maps showing the current state of adult-use and medical cannabis laws in the U.S.
Statement from Mason Tvert, partner at VS Strategies:
“This was another historic election for cannabis policy reform. Support for ending marijuana prohibition in the states is spreading much like it did at the end of alcohol prohibition. Voters in every part of the country are standing up and casting their ballots in support of legalizing and regulating cannabis for adult use. It is not only happening in the Northeast and in the West, but also in the Midwest. As we saw in Arkansas and the Dakotas, there is still work to be done. After decades of anti-cannabis laws and propaganda, it comes as little surprise that many voters have concerns. History has shown that the more people learn about the issue, the more likely they are to support legalization. It’s not really a question of whether these states will end cannabis prohibition, but a question of when.
“With legal cannabis in these two states comes new economic opportunity. Expansion of the regulated cannabis market will result in new businesses, more jobs, and significant tax revenue. There is still plenty of work to be done when it comes to implementing the new law and ironing out all the rules. Marijuana-related policy discussions will become the new norm in state and local governments, much like we see with alcohol. Ending prohibition is just the beginning.
“Adoption of these laws at the state level could have significant implications for reform at the federal level. With each successful legalization measure, there are more members of Congress who represent states where cannabis is legal for adults, generating tax revenue, and creating jobs. Members opposed to legalization are forced to reexamine their position and learn more about the issue, and supportive members typically get even more engaged.”