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Cannabis Wins the Ballot in 2020

Marijuana Legalization 2020

It’s been 29 years since 80% of San Francisco residents voted to legalize medical marijuana, a first for any city in the United States.

In 2020, cannabis was the ballot throughout the country, including four states that voted to legalize adult use and two that approved medical marijuana.

Those successes at the polls have led to 15 states and Washington, D.C., which have legalized adult use of cannabis since 2012, and 35 states that have approved medical marijuana.

Cannabis has a history of doing well when it comes to voting. A Gallup poll reports that two-thirds of Americans believe adult use should be legal. That number jumps to more than 90% for medical marijuana.

This trend is often in contrast to local and state officials who often do not support legalization to the same degree as their constituents. That’s why voting matters.

Here’s a look at a few key dates when cannabis was on the ballot.

Vote for legalization

Cannabis on the Ballot

November 2020
Arizona, Montana, South Dakota and New Jersey vote to legalize use and sales for adults.

Mississippi and South Dakota vote to legalize medical marijuana.

November 2018
Michigan votes to legalize adult use for cannabis, 10 years after voting for medical marijuana legalization.

November 2016
California votes to legalize adult use of cannabis, with its first retail stores opening on Jan. 1, 2018. Other states that voted to legalize cannabis in 2016 include Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine.

November 2014
Cannabis was on the ballot in Alaska in 2000 and 2004, but it failed. Finally, in 2014, legalization passed with 53.2% of the vote. Alaska voted in favor of medical marijuana back in 1998.

November 2012
Both Washington and Colorado vote to legalize adult use of cannabis. Washington lays claim to being the first U.S. state for legalization to go into effect on Dec. 6, 2012, four days before Colorado. Colorado ranks as the first state for legal retail sales in 2015.

November 1996
California becomes the first state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana by a narrow 56% majority when it passed Proposition 215.

November 1991
San Francisco legalized the medical use of cannabis, with 80% of residents voting in favor of Proposition P, becoming the first U.S. city to legalize medical marijuana.

With America already leaning heavily in favor of full legalization, Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), says we should not be surprised when cannabis wins at the polls. Here’s his statement in an opinion piece for The Hill:

“Voters have been consistently defying their elected officials on this issue for over two decades and, no doubt, most will do so again in November. Ideally, though, these ballot campaign efforts should no longer be pessary. The public has spoken loudly and clearly: they favor jettisoning the failed policies of marijuana prohibition and replacing it with a policy of legalization, regulation, taxation, and public education. Their elected officials — at both the state and federal level — ought to be listening.”

Learn more about the role San Francisco has played in the legalization of cannabis on our tour. Book now!

cannabis on the ballot 2020

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