Press Release

Five States to Decide on Marijuana Reform Measures on Election Day

Oct 27, 2020

Washington, D.C. — Voters in five states will decide on marijuana reform ballot initiatives on Election Day. This marks the fifth consecutive election in which voters in multiple states are expected to approve marijuana measures at the ballot box. 

Four states — Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota — will vote on ballot initiatives that would legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and over. Voters in two states — Mississippi and South Dakota — will decide on initiatives that would legalize medical cannabis. Notably, South Dakota is the first state to have measures to legalize adult-use and medical cannabis on the ballot at the same time. Polls have shown that voters in each of these states are supportive of the legalization measures.

MPP is playing a leading role in the efforts in Montana and South Dakota and has endorsed the campaigns in Arizona, New Jersey, and Mississippi. MPP has been instrumental in most major state-level reforms that have occurred over the past two decades, including the ballot initiative victories in Colorado (2012); Alaska (2014); Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada (2016); and Michigan and Utah (2018).

Statement from MPP Executive Director Steve Hawkins: “Every election cycle, we gain more momentum and pass marijuana reform initiatives in more states. We’re hoping for a clean sweep on November 3, which will increase pressure on Congress to pass major federal marijuana reform in the very near future.”

Statement from MPP Deputy Director Matthew Schweich, who was one of the leaders of the Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Utah campaigns, and who is overseeing MPP’s work in Montana and South Dakota this year: “MPP has a long track record of supporting successful marijuana reform ballot initiatives. We’re proud to be assisting the Montana and South Dakota campaigns.”

To date, 34 states have enacted laws to legalize medical cannabis and 11 of these states (and Washington, D.C.) have also legalized cannabis for adults 21 and older. Nine of these 11 states passed legalization through a ballot initiative.

See the links below for more information on each of the ballot initiative measures.




New Jersey:

South Dakota: