Maryland, Missouri voters say yes to cannabis, but other states fail

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Progress continues to legalize marijuana across the US, although not everyone is ready

Two of the five states that were in play to legalize recreational marijuana through yesterday’s elections said yes to the measure. Once the results were in, it was reported that Missouri and Maryland were the states where voters gave the green light to cannabis for adult use. That leaves Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota (yet to be determined) out of the picture.

Maryland and Missouri have long been considered conservative states in the country, but the support of their residents shows how those barriers can be broken down when it comes to cannabis. With the Old Line State and Show-Me State giving their thumbs up to the proposal, the list of states where recreational use is approved extends to 21.

Yesterday’s elections saw voters in Arkansas and North Dakota reject measures to implement this market. At the moment, it has not been fully determined what the outcome in South Dakota has been, although according to the latest update, the state would appear to have history on its side, which could see the list close to 22.

According to industry advocates, these results should send a clear message to lawmakers in Washington about supporting legalization in various parts of the country. Federal reform remains stalled, but it is clear to many that the stigma of cannabis continues to be left further and further behind. As such, advocates of the plant hope that Congress will see this as a wake-up call.

“A growing number of voters recognize that cannabis policy reform is in the best interest of public health and safety, criminal justice reform, social equity, and personal freedom,” Toi Hutchinson, president and CEO of the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement. “State-level legalization victories are what’s necessary to move the needle forward at the federal level.”