Earlier last week, voters in the state of Georgia approved the language of a ballot measure expressing support for the legalization of adult-use marijuana. Democratic Party leadership in the state placed a number of nonbinding advisory questions on the primary election ballot to help inform lawmakers on where residents in the state stood on various issues, including cannabis legalization.
The question on legalization asked residents whether cannabis needed to be legalized, regulated and taxed in the same manner as alcohol for individuals aged 21 and above, with proceeds from its sale being directed toward health care, infrastructure and education programs. The cannabis initiative led by a strong margin of 80% with more than 99% of the counties having reported full results. While the vote’s results don’t change the state’s law, the high numbers of those in favor of legalization highlight the support for reform.
The state has open primaries, which means that any voter in Georgia could fill out the Democratic ballot on the day of election, regardless of what party they belonged to.
In addition to the question on marijuana legalization, questions on renewable energy, health care, free preschool, paid parental leave and the forgiveness of student loans were asked on the Democratic ballot. Meanwhile, the Republican ballot afforded individuals in the state a chance to comment on social media censorship, the right of transgender individuals to participate in sports and the Mexican border wall.
It should be noted that during this session, reforms to the state’s limited medical marijuana program advanced in both chambers but failed to be approved at the final passage.
In the past, Senate Democrats in the state of Georgia also tried enacting a measure that included provisions to decriminalize low-level possession of marijuana in 2020. However, the measure didn’t advance. This came after Democratic primary voters in the state of South Carolina were asked about their stance on the legalization of medical marijuana at the ballot in 2018. More than 80% of the voters’ response was in support of enacting a change in policy that would allow patients access to cannabis.
Last year, legislators in the Minnesota House also conducted a survey of residents as part of the State Fair Poll. Among the questions asked on the poll was how many were in favor of the legalization of adult-use marijuana. Results indicated that 58% of those who responded were in favor of reform. This figure was a slight increase in comparison to the 2019 survey that asked the same question, which found that 56% of the respondents would back the reform.
As many more states work to ease their cannabis prohibition policies, established cannabis companies such as Cannabis Strategic Ventures Inc. (OTC: NUGS) could end up spreading their footprint across state lines, especially when federal cannabis legalization takes place.
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