Blog

See Which States Passed Cannabis Legalization in 2022

Nov, 2022
Image for See Which States Passed Cannabis Legalization in 2022

As midterms approached, four red states and one blue state braced for their future with cannabis legalization in 2022.

While the discourse on whether federal cannabis legalization in 2022 would happen or not heated up, Maryland, Missouri, Arkansas, South Dakota, and North Dakota had already put the decision forward for voters to decide at a state level.

Of course, voters’ approval does not amount to federal approval at this point.

However, for any of the states with voters’ approval for recreational marijuana legalization in 2022, we could expect an immediate turnaround in the state’s recreational marijuana status.

On Tuesday, November 8, voters in these five states finally made their decisions, but the results were not a cause for celebration for recreational marijuana enthusiasts in three of the five states.

Let’s look at how voters cast their votes for cannabis legalization in 2022 during the November elections.

Cannabis Legalization In 2022

Maryland Recreational Marijuana Legalization 2022

Is recreational weed legal in Maryland? Yes, voters cast their ballots in favor of weed legalization in Maryland.

For nearly a decade, Maryland has been on a journey toward legalizing marijuana.

Barely a year after legalizing marijuana for medicinal use in 2013, the state decriminalized possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana.

However, ever since, the state has basically been at a standstill on any other move to fully recreational marijuana legalization. 

Legal Weed 2022: The Debates in Maryland

There were strong debates for and against legalization in Maryland.

For the supporters led by the Yes on 4 campaign, the legalization would create tens of thousands of jobs while the taxes would fund essential educational and public health investments in the states.

It is an obvious route for a significant boost in the state’s economy.

But for the opposition campaign led by Protect Maryland Kids, that is simply not enough reason for marijuana to be in Maryland’s constitution.

Speaking further on the issue, they implied that legalization would cause addiction among marijuana residents. 

How the Voters Decided

66.12% of voters, amounting to 1,102,768 individuals, voted “yes” on Maryland Question 4, while 33885% of voters, amounting to 564,969 individuals, voted “no” on the ballot measure. 

Implications of Question 4

Question 4 is a ballot measure that proposes a constitutional amendment to legalize the adult use and possession of marijuana for individuals 21 or older.

With voters’ approval, there is now a new article in the Maryland Constitution. This new article, termed Article XX, appears in the constitution thus:

Article XX – Cannabis

1.     (A) Subject to Subsection (B) of this section, on or after July 1, 2023, an individual in the state who is at least 21 years old may use and possess cannabis.

(B) The General Assembly shall, by law, provide for the use, distribution, possession, regulation, and taxation of cannabis within the state.

Additionally, this amendment sets the tone right for the expungement of records of nonviolent marijuana offenders that the state sentenced for marijuana possession.

It also intends to set up an inclusive recreational weed market that allows an easy cannabis industry for minorities and women-owned businesses.

It is still unclear what cannabis taxation would look like with this amendment.

The legislative process for full legalization should kickstart in July 2023. 

Missouri Recreational Marijuana Legalization 2022

Is recreational cannabis legal in Missouri? Yes, voters cast their ballots in favor of weed legalization in Missouri.

For Missouri, the struggle for legalization is not one that started recently.

The push for the legalization of cannabis in the state has been a recurring issue for legislative debates long before medical marijuana legalization.

This year, there were two major campaigns for weed legalization. However, there was an obvious preference for one over the other.

State residents were largely hopeful that with the new propositions cannabis legalization in 2022 would manifest.

For some hopefuls, even if it does not pass, there is still some glimmer of hope which came with the discussions about federal cannabis legalization in 2022. 

Legal Weed 2022: The Debates in Missouri

Missouri is a unique case because the debates were not only between the supporters and the opposition; Heated debates also happened even among the supporters, mostly bordering on what legalization should or should not entail.

Eventually, the majority of supporters stood by the Legal Missouri 2022 campaign.

Amendment 3, proposed by Legal Missouri 2022, was a detailed constitutional amendment covering various aspects of recreational marijuana and medical marijuana.

The campaign proposed various economic and regulatory instances which would make marijuana a source of substantial revenue for the state while ensuring the proper enforcement and control of the cannabis market.

The opposition, led by the Save Our State campaign, which was a collaboration between anti-legalization advocates and those who are for legalization but opposed Amendment 3, firmly argued against the corporatization of the cannabis industry in the state’s constitution.

How the Voters Decided

53.09% of voters, amounting to 1,089,017 individuals, voted “yes” on Missouri Amendment 3, while 46.91% of voters, amounting to 961,230 individuals, voted “no” on the ballot measure. 

Implications of Amendment 3

Amendment 3 proposes the legalization of marijuana cultivation, sale, consumption, possession, and delivery for individuals 21 years of age or older.

Here is a brief breakdown of the expected changes:

Cannabis Legalization In 2022
  • Possession limits up to three ounces.
  • Individuals can grow up to but not more than six flowering plants at home
  • Creates an avenue for the expungement of some cannabis-related offenses
  • This measure prohibits the public use of marijuana, despite the legalization
  • It provides detailed processes for application and licensing for both medical and recreational marijuana
  • It establishes a seed-to-sale mechanism for tracking marijuana
  • It imposes a 6% retail tax on legal weed, which would be used for Veterans, Health, and Community Reinvestment Fund
  • The amendment permits nurses’ recommendation of medical marijuana
  • It provides measures to limit marijuana-related discrimination

However, it's important to note that recreational cannabis in Missouri may take some time to go into effect.

Thus, it's best to stick with an MO medical marijuana card and reap all the benefits that these special licenses can hold. You can learn more about why it's important to have an MO MMJ card by clicking here.

Arkansas Recreational Marijuana Legalization 2022

Is recreational weed legal in Arkansas? Unfortunately, Arkansas voters did not cast their ballots in favor of cannabis legalization in 2022.

In 2016, 53% of voters voted in favor of Arkansas medical marijuana via Amendment 98.

Riding on the success of medical marijuana legalization, recreational weed supporters picked up pace in the pursuit of weed legalization.

And for a moment, it appeared like Arkansas would be the first southern, deep-red, conservative state to authorize recreational marijuana legalization via Issue 4.

Legal Weed 2022: The Debates in Arkansas

Arkansas’s weed legalization supporters proposed the bare minimum as a legal entry into the recreational cannabis markets. Although Issue 4 was very limited in its propositions, the opposition did not want to hear any of it.

Responsible Growth Arkansas led the campaign for legalization, banking on the opportunities it could provide for the state as a step in the right direction toward embracing the cannabis industry.

More importantly, the revenue from taxation would go a long way in funding law enforcement agencies and drug research.

On the other end, the opposition campaign led by Safe and Secure Communities Arkansas outrightly rejected the premise for weed legalization, with comments on legalization being unnecessary, as residents are already battling addiction problems. 

How the Voters Decided

56.28% of voters, amounting to 503,313 individuals, voted “no” on Arkansas Issue 4, while 43.72% of voters, amounting to 391,041 individuals, voted “yes” on the ballot measure.

As a result, the amendment was defeated at the ballots. So, there will be no recreational cannabis legalization in 2022 for AR — but that's why medical cards are integral.  

Consume marijuana legally in Arkansas, and get your medical card renewed through Elevate Holistics — at a discounted price, too! Just use the code RENEW10 at checkout.

Probable Implications of Issue

The ballot initiative was a detailed text of the probable scenarios that would have been enshrined in the constitution if the voters had approved the amendment.

Basically, it proposes legal marijuana for adults 21 years of age or older, with a possession limit capped at 1 ounce.

Unlike most other 2022 legalization ballot initiatives that make provisions for social justice and equity, Issue 4 had nothing as such. There was no provision for minority inclusion, growing plants at home, or expungements.

Upon legalization, there would have been a 10% tax on retail sales, which the state would have divided for various law enforcement and drug research funding.

North Dakota Recreational Marijuana Legalization 2022

Is recreational marijuana in North Dakota legal? No, voters did not cast their ballots in favor of weed legalization in the Peace Garden State.

Following the state’s legalization of medical marijuana through a ballot initiative in 2016, various groups have made attempts to legalize weed in North Dakota — all to no avail.

In 2018, recreational marijuana made it to North Dakota’s ballot, but 59% of voters voted against it.

Again, in 2020, there were two attempts to bring legal weed back to the ballot box for the June primaries and the November elections, but the move was blocked both times.

Not minding the strong deterrents, weed legalization came back on the ballots as North Dakota Statutory Measure 2.

With each attempt, the marijuana legalization initiative was made stricter to appeal to the conservative population, but the initiatives never flew past the ballot. 

Legal Weed 2022: The Debates in North Dakota

The New Approach North Dakota led the campaign for the state’s cannabis legalization in 2022, with seven organizations, including Marijuana Policy Project and Pure Dakota, LLC, backing the campaign.

Most of the arguments for legalization within the state’s legislative corridors suggest that it is largely unfair to punish adults, some of whom are veterans, for using small amounts of pot.

The supporters also indicated that Measure 2 is a tight policy recommendation that addresses the fears that opposers have, such as regulations, controls, and restrictions. It does not give room for wantonness.

Also, the revenue from it, as seen in neighboring states like Montana with legal weed, can go a long in solving social issues.

Smart Approaches to Marijuana led the campaign for the opposition side with support from eight organizations, including the North Dakota Sheriff’s and Deputies Association, North Dakota Petroleum Council, and Greater North Dakota Chamber.

For the opposition, the social risks simply outweigh whatever benefits legal weed has to offer.

How the Voters Decided

Cannabis Legalization In 2022

54.95% of voters, amounting to 130,849 individuals, voted “no” on North Dakota Measure No. 2, while 45.05% of voters, amounting to 107,279 individuals, voted “yes” on the ballot measure.

As a result, the state statute was defeated at the ballots, leaving ND without cannabis legalization in 2022. Maybe next time.  

Probable Implications of Measure 2

If the majority of voters had voted yes to making recreational weed legal, adults 21 years of age or older would have been able to possess, purchase, transport, and distribute up to one ounce of weed and grow up to three marijuana plants at home.

Also, the initiative would have allowed adults with adult-use marijuana registration cards to purchase, own, or possess a firearm but prohibited them from using it in public places.

It would have also put processes in place for the state’s Department of Health and Human Services to establish an adult-use marijuana program by October 1, 2023. 

South Dakota Recreational Marijuana Legalization 2022

Is recreational weed legal in South Dakota? No, voters did not cast their ballots in favor of cannabis legalization in 2022 in South Dakota.

In 2020, South Dakota had ballot measures for the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana.

Interestingly, voters voted in favor of both measures, and the state would have been the first to simultaneously legalize recreational and medical marijuana.

Unfortunately, the results were struck out for technical reasons.

Voters voted yes on Amendment A, which had provisions for recreational and medical marijuana legalization.

However, despite a 54.18% majority vote for its approval, it was struck out because it violated South Dakota’s single-subject rule. This rule basically implies that each ballot measure can only ask for one thing; Amendment A asked for the legalization of two things.

In the same election, there was Measure 26 for South Dakota medical marijuana legalization, which voters also voted yes on. The state allowed this to stay.

On November 8, 2022, recreational marijuana came back on the ballots under Measure 27. 

Legal Weed 2022: The Debates in South Dakota

South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws led the campaign for adult-use cannabis legalization in 2022.

The arguments in support of legalization mentioned that cannabis criminalization is a waste of time and resources for the state that should be phased out to allow law enforcers to focus on serious crimes.

They also noted that the state’s medical cannabis program is not so accessible for many patients, some of whom are veterans, cancer patients, and epilepsy patients, who rely on cannabis as a safer source of pain relief.

Also, there are surplus economic opportunities in terms of new jobs and tax revenues that would come with cannabis legalization.

On the other hand, Protecting South Dakota Kids led the opposing campaign. The campaign argued that legalizing adult-use marijuana swings the door open for higher crime rates and higher black-market operations, which would then be difficult for the law to control.

Also, although it is legalized for adults, there won’t be a lot of things stopping adolescents from using weed. 

How the Voters Decided

52.92% of voters, amounting to 183,879 individuals, voted “no” on Measure 27, while 47.08% of voters, amounting to 163,584 individuals, voted “yes” on the ballot measure.

As a result, Measure 27 was defeated on the ballots, and South Dakota will not see cannabis legalization in 2022.

Probable Implications of Measure 27

The cannabis legalization 2022 initiative would have allowed adults 21 years of age or older to purchase, possess, and use any part of the marijuana plant or marijuana concentrates.

Possession limits would have allowed for up to one ounce of possession at any time.

Individuals not living close to a retail store selling marijuana would have been able to grow and own up to three plants in a locked space away from public space and public view.

However, the use of Marijuana would not have been allowed in a public space, and individuals younger than 21 years who possess or use marijuana would have been liable to a $100 fine or four hours of drug education or counseling.

The initiative was not exact on how to regulate the marijuana market.

Cannabis Legalization in 2022: Looking Forward

The recent federal cannabis legalization in 2022 talks raised a lot of people’s hope for nationwide legal weed, but it is apparent that we still have a very long way to go before we realize this goal.

It is joy galore for Maryland and Missourian residents who have now joined the league of 19 states with legal weed and will soon be able to legally access recreational marijuana.

On the other hand, commiserations to the Arkansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota residents whose high hopes of being legally high without risk of being frisked by law enforcers have been dashed.

Elevate Holistics is all for legal recreational and medical marijuana because, either way, millions of patients around the country would have access to the marijuana they need to manage or alleviate their pain without the risk of severe debilitating effects associated with the continuous use of anti-depressants and painkillers.

However, medical marijuana remains the surefire way to access top-shelf marijuana and possess or grow higher amounts of pot in all legal states.

(More importantly, with lower taxes on medical marijuana, you can always get your marijuana cheaper.)

Elevate Holistics: Stay Ahead With Your Medical Marijuana Card

As the country’s number one marijuana telehealth service provider, we have a solid reach across all the legal states, helping patients quickly get a doctor’s recommendation and complete their state applications from the comfort of their homes.

We have also maintained a reputation for offering the cheapest MMJ card services in most states.

Whether you live in strict states or more lenient states, it makes no difference to us. We will help you get your medical card faster and cheaper than most telehealth services can ever offer.

Click here to get your medical marijuana card right from the comfort of your home.

LEARN MORE: