States Push Forward with Marijuana Decriminalization and Legalization Ballot Measures

States Push Forward with Marijuana Decriminalization and Legalization Ballot Measures

Activists in Bastrop, Texas have successfully submitted enough signatures to place a marijuana decriminalization initiative on the local November ballot. Led by Democratic state House candidate Desiree Venable, the initiative aims to decriminalize marijuana as part of broader criminal justice reform. This follows a similar effort in Dallas, where activists submitted nearly 50,000 signatures. Governor Greg Abbott has criticized these local efforts, asserting that communities lack the authority to override state law and should work with legislators instead.

In Arkansas, the group Arkansans for Patient Access has collected over 111,000 signatures to place a medical marijuana initiative on the November 2024 ballot. The proposed policy change would expand the range of healthcare professionals authorized to prescribe marijuana and extend the validity of medical cannabis cards for non-residents from one to three years. A trigger provision in the measure would end cannabis prohibition statewide if it is legalized at the federal level.

Meanwhile, in North Dakota, the New Economic Frontier campaign has submitted over 22,000 signatures for a marijuana legalization initiative, which needs at least 15,582 valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The initiative proposes to allow adults 21 and older to possess specific amounts of marijuana and includes regulations for production and processing. Recent polling indicates that 57% of likely North Dakota voters oppose the measure, while 43% support it.

Cannabis reform advocates in Arkansas, Nebraska, and North Dakota are actively working to place various marijuana-related initiatives on their respective 2024 ballots. In Nebraska, activists have submitted signatures for two measures aimed at establishing medical cannabis access and regulating its production and distribution. If certified, the North Dakota initiative would permit adults to cultivate up to six marijuana plants per household.

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