March 22, 2023

Featuring field reports from Max Savage Levenson, Amelia Williams, David Downs, Calvin Stovall, Janessa Bailey, and Pat Goggins.

Legalization 2022: Welcome to Leafly’s live coverage

Here we are: Election Day. Welcome, friends.

All day long, Leafly’s news team will provide rolling updates, vote totals, quotes, memes, tweets, posts, and random entertaining bits to keep your anxiety at bay and your chill level cool.

Bookmark Leafly’s election page and return often. No matter what your political persuasion, we’ll provide good news and glad tidings. Legalization is marching on! Hang with us and watch it grow.

What’s at stake today

Five statewide adult use marijuana legalization measures go before voters today. In Colorado, voters are considering a statewide medical psychedelics legalization measure. Nationwide, party control of Congress will be decided, and with that control rides the fate of federal marijuana legalization.

The links below lead to full Leafly guides to the individual state measures.

Arkansas:Amendment 98, marijuana legalization
Colorado: Proposition 122, medical psychedelics legalization
Maryland: Question 4, marijuana legalization
Missouri: Amendment 3, marijuana legalization
North Dakota: Measure 2, marijuana legalization
South Dakota: Initiated Measure 27, marijuana legalization

Updated Nov. 8 voting results coming soon

Each measure needs 50.01% to win. Results are updated as soon as state officials release the first totals. First results are expected at 8 p.m. EST / 5 p.m. PST.

ARKANSAS: Marijuana legalization (0% counted)

COLORADO: Psilocybin legalization (0% counted)

MARYLAND: Marijuana legalization (0% counted)

MISSOURI: Marijuana legalization (0% counted)

NORTH DAKOTA: Marijuana legalization (0% counted)

SOUTH DAKOTA: Marijuana legalization (0% counted)

Voting hours: Polls are open now

Here are the voting times for the five cannabis legalization states in play.

State Polls open Polls close
Arkansas 7:30 a.m. 7:30 p.m.
Colorado 7:00 a.m. 7:00 p.m.
Maryland 7 a.m. 8 p.m.
Missouri 6 a.m. 7 p.m.
North Dakota Varies by county, check here. Varies by county, check . All voting ends by 9 p.m.
South Dakota 7 a.m. 7 p.m.

Texas cities voting to decriminalize marijuana today

Four Central Texas cities are voting today on measures that would decriminalize small amounts of cannabis possession within their jurisdictions.

Fox 7 News reports that Elgin, Harker Heights, Killeen, and San Marcos residents will be voting on whether to eliminate enforcement of low-level marijuana offenses.

Those cities would join Austin, whose residents voted—by a whopping 85%—to decriminalize the possession of marijuana flower within the city limits back in May 2022.

Texas marijuana decriminalization: Yes, it does exist image

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Texas marijuana decriminalization: Yes, it does exist

Chris Kudialis

July 19, 2022

Oklahoma’s legalization vote coming March 7, 2023

There’s one state missing from today’s weed vote-a-rama: Oklahoma.

Even though cannabis legalization proponents gathered enough signatures earlier this year to put SQ 820 on the midterm ballot, a series of (debatably intentional) administrative setbacks forced the state to push the vote off the Nov. 8 ballot.

Earlier this morning, Gov. Kevin Stitt announced that the issue will appear on a special election ballot on March 7, 2023.

Weird timing for the announcement, but we look forward to covering OK’s legalization vote next spring.

— Max Savage Levenson

Big John coming out strong for legalization in Arkansas

Legendary golfer John Daly, one of the most beloved figures in the Razorback State, posted a strong message in favor of Issue 4, cannabis legalization, on the eve of the election. “It’s been done in 19 other states and the sky didn’t fall,” he says.

The beard don’t lie.

Arkansas poll predicts loss for legalization

No easy way to spin this one: The Arkansas Poll, taken by a team at the University of Arkansas, predicts a significant loss for that state’s legalization measure. Previous polls have shown a tight 50-50 race, but this new poll found that 60% of voters oppose Issue 4.

The one bright spot: The average age of respondents to the survey was 63. As a rule, the older the age demographic the less likely a voter is to support legalization.

One week prior to Election Day, the Maryland House of Delegates’ Cannabis Referendum and Legalization work group reviewed a report on the state’s potential legal industry. In other words, they’re getting prepared for Question 4 to pass.

As Maryland Matters reporter William J. Ford noted, “if voters approve legalization by voting for Question 4, more work would have to be done, such as altering civil and criminal cannabis-related penalties, establishing a fund to assist small and minority-owned businesses and establishing a health advisory council to assess, study and promote public health campaigns on cannabis.”

“We know that the cannabis industry is a profitable industry,” said Mathew Swinburne, the report’s author. “This is a new industry that is filled with economic opportunity and that opportunity is only growing,” he told Maryland Matters. Although this industry presents some significant economic opportunities, communities of color are missing out on this cannabis boom.”

Rick Steves, legalization hero

Every two years Rick Steves, the PBS travel show star, donates significant amounts of his own cash and copious chunks of time to campaign for legalization measures on the ballot. Partnering with NORML, he barnstorms state to state to appear on the local TV and radio stations that actually reach undecided voters. Rick Steves opens minds and changes votes.

Here’s a clip of him in action recently in North Dakota.

A much more recent Survey USA poll (taken Nov. 1) found that 61% of Missouri voters surveyed said they planned to vote for cannabis legalization. The poll asked 791 likely voters, so it’s not an enormous sample size, but it does bode well.

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