Cannabis Law Updates After the 2019 Elections

By Robert Bjornson on December 03, 2019 | Last updated on December 13, 2021

More Americans are changing their opinions on cannabis, and this cultural change is being reflected in national politics. Over recent years, state governments across the nation have altered their cannabis laws to allow for more medical and recreational cannabis use, but some states have been resistant to change.

Cannabis is traditionally more accepted in more politically liberal areas. As a result, states with Republican-controlled legislatures are often the last to legalize cannabis use, whether it be for medical or recreational purposes.

However, recent elections have shifted the political landscape in many states, and these changes may have a significant impact on cannabis law.

November's Elections and Cannabis Law Reform

Legislators are, in general, trending toward the greater legalization of cannabis. However, not everyone supports proposed cannabis-related ballot measures. In November, voters in areas all across the nation voted for and against various cannabis-related ballot measures.

Democrats picked up a significant number of seats in the recent November elections, most notably in Virginia and Kentucky. The vast majority of Democratic winners have stated that they support cannabis legalization in some form.

Local Ballot Measures

Voters in Illinois, Maine, and Michigan voted to allow cannabis businesses to operate within certain areas of the state. Conversely, voters in Colorado, Massachusetts, and other regions in Michigan voted against measures that would allow cannabis businesses to function within certain counties and cities.

In Ohio, voters in the cities of Bremen, Nelsonville, and Northwood voted in favor of passing decriminalization measures. The local ordinances decriminalize possession of 20 grams of cannabis or less. Although decriminalization is not legalization, decriminalization effectively removes any legal penalties for people who break the possession law.

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