2020 Marijuana Policy Reform Ballot Campaigns
Last updated: January 14, 2020
2020 could be another landmark year for our movement. Check this page for updates on all the states likely to vote on marijuana policy reform at the ballot box this November.
Arizona — After legalization suffered a narrow loss at the ballot box in 2016, a renewed attempt to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona is underway. The 2020 initiative most likely to succeed, spearheaded by Smart and Safe Arizona, must garner 237,645 voter signatures by July 2 to qualify for the November ballot.
Arkansas — In 2016, Arkansas approved a medical marijuana law through a voter referendum. This year, activists are working to pass adult-use legalization initiatives. Arkansans for Cannabis Reform is collecting signatures for an initiative to regulate and tax marijuana as well as a separate measure that would expunge marijuana offenses from individuals’ records and end ongoing sentences.
Florida — Unfortunately, a hardfought attempt to put legalization on the ballot came up short this year. Make it Legal Florida announced in January that it was discontinuing efforts to gather the 766,200 signatures needed to qualify. The task was made significantly more challenging by a 2019 election law approved by state lawmakers.
Idaho — After receiving approval to gather signatures for their 2020 medical marijuana petition last year, the Idaho Cannabis Coalition is making progress towards their goal of 55,000 signatures from voters across the state. Idaho maintains some of the harshest marijuana laws in the country, but polling shows voters overwhelmingly support medical marijuana.
Mississippi — After gathering well over the required number of signatures, Mississippians for Compassionate Care has succeeded in qualifying a medical marijuana initiative for this year’s ballot. Though some prominent politicians oppose the measure, polling suggests it has a good chance of passing.
Missouri — After legalizing medical marijuana in 2018, the Show Me State might vote on adult-use legalization later this year. Polls indicate there is broad support, and several legalization initiatives have been filed.
Montana — In January, the newly formed New Approach Montana campaign filed two ballot initiatives for state review. One, a constitutional amendment requiring roughly 50,000 signatures to qualify, would allow lawmakers to establish a legal age for marijuana consumption. The other, a statutory measure that requires about half as many signatures, would establish a system to regulate and tax marijuana for adults’ use.
Nebraska — After years of inaction by lawmakers, policymakers and patient advocates formed Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana. The campaign is currently collecting signatures to put a constitutional medical marijuana measure on the November ballot.
New Jersey — Unlike most other marijuana policy ballot initiatives, which qualify through signature drives, New Jersey will vote on legalization later this year thanks to a legislative referral. After failing to find enough common ground to pass a bill in 2019, lawmakers opted to put a proposal before the voters.
North Dakota — Legalization activists have regrouped after a disappointing loss on the ballot in 2018. Legalize ND’s 2020 petition, which incorporated several significant changes from the previous initiative, was approved for signature circulation in December 2019.
Oklahoma — The state’s 2018 voter-approved medical marijuana program has grown quickly, and advocates are now working to put adult-use legalization on the ballot later this year. An initiative to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol was filed with the Secretary of State’s office late last year.
Oregon — Oregon voters approved a law to legalize marijuana for adults in 2014, but now a group of activists is working to expand the system. Among other reforms, the proposal would allow on-site consumption licenses, which would create cannabis lounges and temporary use permits for special events.
South Dakota — Thanks to an impressive signature gathering effort last year, New Approach South Dakota and South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws succeeded in qualifying two marijuana policy reform initiatives for the 2020 ballot. One would establish a medical marijuana program, while the other would legalize and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older. South Dakota will be the first state to vote on medical marijuana and adult-use legalization initiatives simultaneously.
South Dakota Secretary of State Steve Barnett (white shirt), MPP Deputy Director Matthew Schweich (blue blazer), and South Dakota campaign staff and volunteers stand alongside over 53,000 signatures being submitted to qualify the constitutional adult-use marijuana legalization ballot initiative.