Marijuana Is Making Its Mark on Ballots in Red States

Since Colorado first allowed recreational use of marijuana in 2014, 10 other states have done the same. Most are coastal, left-leaning states, with exceptions like NevadaAlaska and Maine. An additional 21 states allow medical marijuana, which must be prescribed by a physician.

This year, marijuana advocates are using the November elections to bypass Republican-led legislatures that have opposed legalization efforts, taking the question straight to voters.

Advocates point to a high number of petition signatures and their own internal polling as indicators that the odds of at least some of the measures passing are good.

One unknown is what role the pandemic will play in the marijuana measures’ fate. Demand for marijuana appears to be rising with people feeling stressed and isolated by COVID-19 lockdown measures, according to a United Nations report on the implications of COVID policies on drug manufacturing, distribution and use. That increased use could work in advocates’ favor.

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