2 New States Voted to Legalize Marijuana in the 2022 Elections.
Maryland and Missouri.
Alaska, Now Lighting Up
Adults 21 and over can light up in Alaska. In 2015, the northernmost US state made it legal for residents to use, possess, and transport up to an ounce of marijuana — roughly a sandwich bag full — for recreational use. The first pot shop opened for business in 2016.
Alaska has pounced on the opportunity to make its recreational-pot shops a destination for tourists. More than 2 million people visit Alaska annually and spend $2 billion.
Tuesday was a good day for stoners in Maryland and Missouri, as voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana in both places. The two states, which had already legalized medical use, join 19 other states (and D.C.) in making recreational use legal.
In Maryland, there’s a bit of a transitional period (which the Associated Press runs through here). Adult recreational marijuana use will not be legal officially until July 1, 2023, pending the General Assembly passing laws about how to appropriately distribute, regulate, and tax the plant. The Washington Post also notes that effective July 1, adults can grow up “up to two cannabis plants in their home, out of the public view.”
Past marijuana charges in Maryland will also be expunged, thanks to a companion bill passed in the spring that included both a provision to automatically expunge all cases in which possession was the sole charge. It will also allow individuals incarcerated for possession to petition for resentencing. At the time, many local politicians criticized the bill, emphasizing it would do little to nothing to prevent and reduce racial disparities and arrests in marijuana possession.
In other news, Coloradans voted on the decriminalization and regulation of psychedelic mushrooms. It’s still too close to call—with 80 percent of votes counted as of this writing, decriminalization leads 51-49 percent. Colorado would be the second state after Oregon to do so. One could say the state is leaning [looks up the color of magic mushrooms] brown?