November 2020 Weed Legalization State of Affairs

by The True Negative

In January 2020, we published our first Weed Legalization State of Affairs which provided a rundown of weed legality by state. With the 2020 U.S. election officially declared over—well, by everyone except Donald Trump—we’re updating our report based on the results of state ballot proposals.

As a reminder, the different shades of weed legality are recreational, medicinal, and decriminalized. To put it simply, recreational marijuana is legalized marijuana restricted to adults (those 21 and over) for medicinal and non-medicinal uses. Each state typically specifies how much can be legally carried, grown, and consumed since, like most legal products, non-businesses can’t sell in large scale without proper licensing. Medicinal marijuana is marijuana consumed to treat a medical condition. What types of conditions medicinal marijuana can be used to treat varies by state. In some states, it’s as simple as finding the right doctor to write a prescription for any condition, while in others, it’s limited to severe illnesses such as cancer. Finally, in states where marijuana is decriminalized, users will not be prosecuted for possessing a determined amount of marijuana. Think of what happens when you get a speeding ticket—you might be fined or forced to go to driving school, but no criminal record or jail time for your traffic violation. In states where marijuana is decriminalized, there is a maximum quantity that you can possesses where the consequences will not be severe. In states where recreational marijuana is legal, marijuana is also decriminalized. In states where medicinal marijuana is legal, marijuana may or may not be decriminalized. In states where marijuana is illegal, it may or may not be decriminalized.

So what’s new?

6 states had marijuana related measures on the ballot:

Arizona: Prop 207
What: Legalization of recreational marijuana for adults
How much: Up to one ounce of marijuana and cultivation of up to four plants for personal use
Result: Passed

Montana: I-190 and CI-118
What: Legalization of recreational marijuana for adults
How much: Up to one ounce of marijuana and cultivation of up to four plants for personal use
Result: Passed

New Jersey: Public Question 1
What: Legalization of recreational marijuana for adults
How much: Unknown. It’s up to lawmakers now to pass legislation on possession, use, and sales
Result: Passed

South Dakota: Constitutional Amendment A, Measure 26
How much: One ounce of marijuana and cultivation of up to three plants for personal use
What: Legalization of recreational marijuana for adults (Constitutional Amendment A), legalization of medicinal marijuana (Measure 26)
Result: Passed

Mississippi: Initiative 65 and Alternative 65A
What: Legalization of medicinal marijuana
Result: Passed

If you live in one of these states, don’t forget to check when these laws actually go to effect. Also, as you’ll see in our earlier deep dives on Illionis and Nevada marijuana legalization laws, legal weed does not mean the end of employment drug testing.

With these new ballot measures passed, this is the current state of weed legalization

States Where Recreational Weed is Legal (16 states)
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States Where Weed is Legal for Medicinal Use (33 states)
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States Where Weed is Completely Illegal (2 states)
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States Where Weed is Decriminalized (31 states)
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Could Joe Biden and Kamala Harris bring legal weed to all?

Right now, the federal government has not made weed legal. This means that each individual state sets its own laws on the legality of weed. Additonally, this means that those that work for the federal government or for jobs that are heavily regulated by the federal government, weed is treated the same way other illegal substances are. Will this change with the new presidency?

Here's Biden's official platform:

"Decriminalize the use of cannabis and automatically expunge all prior cannabis use convictions. Biden believes no one should be in jail because of cannabis use. As president, he will decriminalize cannabis use and automatically expunge prior convictions. And, he will support the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes, leave decisions regarding legalization for recreational use up to the states, and reschedule cannabis as a schedule II drug so researchers can study its positive and negative impacts."
Source: JoeBiden.com

As always, we would love to hear about your experiences with marijuana testing in all states. Submit your information here


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