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Election 2020: All you need to know about cannabis legalization on the ballot

May 28, 2020
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Adult-use cannabis legalization in the White House, or your state, and in your town, depends on your vote. (artfriday/AdobeStock, Leafly)
This page was updated on May 28, 2020.


 

A total of 34 states now allow medical marijuana. Of those, 11 states plus Washington, D.C. have also legalized cannabis for adults 21 and older. Here’s our map of which states are legal, featured in Leafy’s 2020 Jobs Count.

Quick facts:

When is the election?

How do I vote?

What am I voting on?

The next President of the United States. Also: 33 US Senate seats; all 435 seats in the House of Representatives; 11 state governors; thousands of state senators and representatives; and many local city and county council races.

What’s at stake?

Everything for cannabis: Federal and state adult-use cannabis legalization; medical cannabis policy reform; state-level legalization; as well the state and local leaders who will implement or block reform. To give an example, about 79,000 votes in three states decided the 2016 presidential election. By contrast, 100 million eligible voters did not vote in that election.

Who should I vote for?

  • It’s up to you. Read Leafly’s guides below, and other groups’ endorsements. Ask local and state candidates where they stand on legalization, and legal stores.
  • NORML recently graded governors on cannabis policy.
  • The Cannabis Voter Project tallies how members of Congress have voted on cannabis.

 

Cannabis on 2020 state ballots

Legalization measures already on the Nov. 2020 ballot

StateRec or MedicalMeasure nameAdvocatesOpponents
MississippiMedicalI-190 and CI-118Mississippians for Compassionate CareNone yet
New JerseyRecreationalNone yetNo official campaign organization yetNone yet
South DakotaRecreationalAmendment ANew Approach South DakotaNone yet
South DakotaMedicalIM 26New Approach South DakotaNone yet

Legalization measures fighting to make the Nov. 2020 ballot

StateMedical or RecreationalName/SponsorSignatures neededSignature deadline
ArizonaRecreationalSmart & Safe Arizona237,465 (done but not yet filed)July 2
ArkansasRecreationalArkansans for Cannabis Reform90,000July 3
MontanaRecreational (two measures have been filed)New Approach Montana25,468 and 50,936, respectivelyJune 19
NebraskaMedicalNebraskans for Medical Marijuana130,000July 8
North DakotaRecreationalLegalize ND13,452July 6
OhioRecreationalRegulate Marijuana Like Alcohol443,958July 1

Legalization measures punted to the 2021 election

StateMedical or RecreationalName/SponsorFuture plans
FloridaRecreationalMake It Legal FloridaAiming for Nov. 2021
IdahoMedicalIdaho Cannabis CoalitionAiming for Nov. 2021
MissouriRecreationalMissourians for a New ApproachAiming for Nov. 2021
OklahomaRecreationalNew Approach PACAiming for Nov. 2021

Biden vs. Trump: Where they stand on cannabis

Joe Biden

Joe Biden was an original drug warrior in the 1990s. His position has changed since then, but not by much. He’s now in favor of ‘decriminalization,’ not legalization.

Donald Trump

In his public statements, President Trump has been characteristically vague about cannabis legalization. But his administration’s actions have made it absolutely clear that the Trump White House wants nothing to do with legalization.

Here’s a selection of our coverage:

Where the also-rans stand

presidential candidates and where they stand on marijuana legalization

About 61% of Americans support marijuana legalization, Pew Research finds. (Leafly)

Mike Bloomberg:

Pete Buttigieg:

Amy Klobuchar:

Bernie Sanders:

Elizabeth Warren:

Andrew Yang:

 

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Bruce Barcott, David Downs, and Max Savage Levenson's Bio Image

Bruce Barcott, David Downs, and Max Savage Levenson

Bruce Barcott is Leafly's deputy editor and the author of 'Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America.' David Downs is Leafly's California bureau chief and the author of 'Beyond Buds' and 'The Medical Marijuana Guidebook.' Leafly contributor Max Savage Levenson also writes about music for Pitchfork and Bandcamp.

View Bruce Barcott, David Downs, and Max Savage Levenson's articles