Recreational Cannabis Referendums Pass in 2 of 5 States

Staff Report
BRADENTON — Voters approved legalized recreational marijuana in Maryland and Missouri on Tuesday, while ballot measures in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Arkansas failed.

The five states to put the measure to a referendum in 2022 all currently have medicinal marijuana programs available to adult residents. After Tuesday's results, 21 states and the District of Columbia now allow legalized recreational cannabis.

Maryland voters passed the referendum with 61 percent of the vote, and Missouri passed its ballot measure with 53 percent. North Dakota's referendum failed 55-45 percent, while South Dakota's failed 53-47 percent. In Arkansas, the ballot referendum failed 56-44 percent.

Beginning July 1, 2023, adults 21 and over in Maryland will be able to legally possess up to an ounce and a half of cannabis. They will also be allowed to grow up to two plants. 

Previous marijuana convictions in the state will be expunged, and individuals who are currently serving time for such offenses would be allowed to file for resentencing.

Missouri's measure provides for the release of all incarcerated individuals, paroled individuals, and individuals on probation for any nonviolent marijuana-related charge. Criminal and civil records for nonviolent marijuana-related offenses will also be expunged.

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