On Election Day 2020, voters in the five states which had cannabis legalization questions on the ballot convincingly approved the reforms. Now, in states across the country, marijuana reform activists are busy trying to qualify legalization proposals for next year’s ballot and hoping for similar success.
Here’s a rundown of the states which have citizen-led marijuana reform proposals in the works for the 2022 ballot.
Arkansas True Grass wants to put a proposal that would legalize and regulate recreational cannabis in the state to voters on next year’s ballot. The measure would allow adults 21 and older to legally buy up to four ounces of marijuana and cultivate up to 12 plants at home for personal use. In order to qualify for the ballot, the cannabis reform activists must collect 89,151 verified signatures from registered Arkansas voters by July 2022.
The first cannabis-related ballot proposal in Idaho would permit adults 21 and older to possess up to three ounces of marijuana on private property, but contains no provisions for the establishment of a legal, regulated market. To qualify, activists with Idaho Cann must gather 65,000 verified signatures from registered voters by May 2022.
A separate group of cannabis reform activists want to put a measure before voters that would allow qualifying patients with a doctor’s recommendation to legally possess up to four ounces of medical marijuana, as well as grow up to six plants at home. The group must also collect 65,000 signatures to qualify.
In a rerun of 2018’s ballot process, Missouri voters could be faced with several cannabis legalization proposals at the 2022 ballot. Fair Access Missouri is currently working on several separate measures to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state, while New Approach Missouri – the group that put the approved medical marijuana proposal on 2018’s ballot – intends to follow up that success with an adult-use legalization measure.
After initially qualifying for the 2020 ballot with a medical cannabis proposal, Nebraska’s Supreme Court ruled the proposal violated the state’s single subject rule and ordered that it be removed from the ballot. The group behind that initiative – Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana – are now making another attempt to qualify a medical marijuana question for the state’s ballot. To avoid running afoul of Nebraska’s single subject rule again, the group wants to put two separate but complementary measures before voters in 2022.
Marijuana reform activists in North Dakota want to put an adult-use cannabis legalization measure on the state’s 2022 ballot. The proposal would permit adults 21 and older to legally buy cannabis from regulated retailers and grow a limited number of plants at home. To qualify, the group must gather close to 27,000 signatures by January 2022. Another group, which previously failed to put a legalization measure on the 2018 ballot, is also working on a proposal to legalize recreational cannabis in the state.
Ohio’s Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CTRMLA) halted its signature-gathering efforts last year owing to the coronavirus outbreak, and had previously seen a 2015 legalization initiative falter. Unlike these prior attempts, the CTRMLA is now seeking to enact marijuana legalization through a statutory measure, rather than a constitutional one.
To do this, the group has sent 1,000 signatures to the Ohio attorney general’s office imploring lawmakers to enact marijuana legalization. If the effort is approved by the attorney general, then activists must collect 132,887 valid signatures from registered voters. Lawmakers will then have four months to act on the proposal, which would allow adults 21 and older to buy up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and grow up to six plants at home.
Marijuana reform activists in Oklahoma are seeking to qualify a measure for the ballot that would allow adults 21 and older to legally buy cannabis from existing medical marijuana dispensaries, as well as grow up to 12 plants at home.
The same group also wants to put a separate proposal to voters in Oklahoma that would reform the state’s existing medical marijuana program. If it qualifies and is approved by voters, the measure would require that the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority is transformed into the Oklahoma Cannabis Commission, which would have broader responsibilities to regulate all legal cannabis products in the state. In addition, the proposed ballot measure would institute funding for marijuana research programs and mental health services, as well as training for law enforcement.
After South Dakota voters approved Amendment A to legalize recreational cannabis at the 2020 ballot, the measure was overturned by a circuit court judge and an appeal is currently in progress at the state’s Supreme Court. If the circuit court decision is upheld, then marijuana reform activists in South Dakota plan to submit four separate adult-use legalization proposals.
Each one would allow possession of up to four ounces of cannabis by adults 21 and older, as well as the cultivation of up to three plants at home. However, some of the legalization proposals allow for legal regulated sales, while the others do not. Should the activists press ahead with their plans for the 2022 ballot, they would need to collect 33,921 signatures for a constitutional change proposal and 16,961 for a statutory one by November 8.
Marijuana reform activists in Wyoming have started gathering signatures for a proposal that would decriminalize possession of up to four ounces of cannabis for adults 21 and older. First and second time offenders would incur a $50, with a maximum fine of $75 for subsequent offenses and no threat of jail time. Growing cannabis at home would result in a maximum fine of $200, also without the threat of jail time.
A separate group is collecting signatures for a medical marijuana proposal that would allow qualifying patients to possess up to four ounces of cannabis flower and up to 20 grams of medical marijuana-derived products per month, as well as grow up to eight plants at home for personal, therapeutic use.