Voters Legalize Marijuana Use in Five States

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Voters Legalize Marijuana Use in Five States


The legalization of marijuana continues to score victories at the ballot box.


Voters in Arizona, Montana, South Dakota, and New Jersey approved ballot measures that legalized marijuana use for recreational purposes. These measures differ in their details, with some being more restrictive than others. Most limit how much marijuana is considered a legal amount and impose heavy taxes on it. New Jersey, however, simply legalized the possession of marijuana, said its sales are subject to the state sales tax, and prohibited any new taxes on it.


Mississippi and South Dakota also approved medical marijuana. In South Dakota, however, the more expansive legalization measure also allows the use of marijuana for medical purposes.


With these victories, there are now 15 states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Most of these states have done so via ballot measures, although Vermont and Illinois legislators passed legalization bills in those states. Many more states have decriminalized marijuana possession.


The federal government still lists cannabis as a controlled substance. Federal agencies can still arrest individuals for marijuana possession, but states that have legalized the drug do not do so. Some members of Congress are pushing for the federal government to relax its marijuana laws.


Do you think that the federal government should still prohibit the possession and use of marijuana?

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