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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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Cannabis may be on seven state ballots this fall

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Legalization measures in South Dakota and Maryland have already been confirmed for ballot placement in their respective states. Lacking legislative support, activists in five other states are turning to voters to enact reforms before federal legalization.

Cannabis reform advocates in four states — Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and North Dakota — recently submitted signatures to election officials to place legalization proposals on the 2022 ballot.

In May, the group Legal Missouri 2022 delivered more than 385,000 signatures to state officials — more than double the total (171,592) needed to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot to legalize marijuana.

Four last state initiative documents

Representatives from the group Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws announced that they had submitted more than 164,000 signatures to the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s office in an effort to place a statewide binding marijuana legalization initiative (State Question 820) on the November ballot. This total is well above the number of signatures needed (94,911) to qualify for the 2022 ballot. The proposed measure seeks to allow adults to legally possess and grow at home quality personal use of cannabis while establishing also a licensed retail market. Those with past marijuana convictions, or those who are currently incarcerated for certain cannabis-related crimes, may petition the courts for either record expungement or conviction reversal.

The group Responsible Growth Arkansas submitted just over 190,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office to put the Arkansas Adult Use Cannabis Amendment on the November ballot. The constitutional amendment seeks to establish a state-licensed retail cannabis market for those 21 and older. It also seeks to expand the state’s existing medical cannabis access program by increasing the total number of licensed dispensaries and eliminating certain taxes. Advocates need just over 89,000 valid signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot.

In Nebraska, Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana collected more than 90,000 signatures each for a pair of medical cannabis legalization measures — just above the roughly 87,000 needed to qualify for the November ballot.

Finally, the representatives with the group of the North Dakota New Approach ND announced that they had made 25,762 signatures at the office of the Secretary of State. The total is about 10,000 signatures above the number of signatures needed (15,582) to qualify for the 2022 ballot. The proposed measure allows adults to legally possess and grow at home quality cannabis for personal use while also establishing a licensed retail market.

Further information is available from NORML’s ‘Central Election.’

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