This year, residents in five states will vote on ballot measures to legalize cannabis for adults. If proponents are victorious in each state, 2022 would be the most successful year for adult-use legalization ballot initiatives ever.
Even if you don’t live in a state with cannabis on the ballot, make sure you have all the information you need to make your voice heard in this year’s election.
2022 Statewide Cannabis Ballot Initiatives
South Dakota - Measure 27
After Gov. Kristi Noem’s lawsuit overturned voters’ approval of Amendment A, a 2020 ballot initiative to legalize cannabis for adults, advocates for sensible cannabis laws regrouped and filed a new statutory initiative for the 2022 election. The signature drive was successful, and voters will have a chance to legalize cannabis (again) later this year by voting “Yes” on Measure 27.
North Dakotans have an opportunity to legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis for adults through a statutory ballot initiative known as Measure 2. The effort is being supported by a sponsoring committee that includes former North Dakota police officers, veterans, and a Republican state legislator.
Earlier this year, MPP led a local coalition that spurred state lawmakers to refer a legalization question to this year’s ballot. Now, voters will have a chance to decide the issue. If approved, the ballot initiative will trigger additional legislation that sets an implementation plan into motion in 2023.
Missouri voters will soon decide the fate of Amendment 3, a constitutional ballot measure to legalize cannabis and automatically expunge criminal records for thousands of Missourians convicted of nonviolent cannabis offenses in the past. The effort has the support of several local NAACP chapters, the ACLU of Missouri, and the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
After legalizing medical cannabis in 2016, voters in Arkansas will have an opportunity to legalize cannabis for adults this year. Backers of the effort overcame a series of legal challenges, including an attempt by the state’s election board to block the issue from the ballot.
Advocates behind State Question 820, a statutory initiative to legalize cannabis for adults, collected enough signatures earlier this year to put the measure before Oklahoma voters. Gov. Kevin Stitt used his authority to call a special election for the ballot initiative on March 7, 2023.