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News > U.S.

Five US States Vote on Recreational Cannabis Use

  • A marijuana farm in Grandview, Missouri, U.S., Oct. 31, 2022.

    A marijuana farm in Grandview, Missouri, U.S., Oct. 31, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/ @GLAnalytical

Published 8 November 2022

Currently, recreational use is already legal in 19 states and Washington D.C., while health-related use is legal in 37 states.

On Tuesday, the citizens of Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota are called to vote on reforms to the state constitutions that would allow the possession of small amounts of cannabis and its sale by licensed businesses.


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In these states the use of marijuana for medical reasons is already allowed. In North Dakota, voters already rejected the complete legalization of cannabis in 2018 and in South Dakota a similar measure was already approved in 2020, which was annulled by the State Justice.

The decriminalization of marijuana use is one of the great bets of the Democratic Party at the national level. While some Republicans also support the policy, most House conservatives have opposed the measure.

The lack of progress in this area led U.S. President Joe Biden to announce in October a series of executive orders to advance the decriminalization of cannabis use.

Among those measures, Biden granted a pardon to all those convicted at the federal level for possession of marijuana and encouraged state administrations to do the same.

He also directed the U.S. Departments of Health and Justice to begin the process to review the classification of cannabis on the country's list of controlled substances. Currently, cannabis, heroin or LSD are in level 1, which is the most restrictive classification.

Despite its national ranking, recreational marijuana use is legal in 19 states and Washington D.C., while its use for medical reasons is legal in 37 states along with the capital.

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