Marijuana advocates race to qualify for the ballot

The pandemic forced some legalization campaigns to fold, but others are still fighting to make it before voters in November.

The coronavirus pandemic may have upended marijuana advocates’ plans for a banner year of legalization ballot initiatives. But advocates in a handful of states are still fighting to salvage campaigns to put legalization questions to voters in November.

Marijuana Legalization in South Dakota Lies with Voters Now

Marijuana legalization in South Dakota could see daylight in 2020. The state passed measures to legalize both recreational and medical marijuana. Luckily, both of the measures collected the required signatures before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The only issue was if the pandemic didn’t retreat by November, it would be hard for people to vote on the measures. Now that lockdown restrictions have been easing, voting should be possible.

Louisiana widening access to medical marijuana under new law

More Louisiana residents will have access to medical marijuana under a significant expansion of the state’s therapeutic cannabis program that Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed into law

More Louisiana residents will have access to medical marijuana under a significant expansion of the state's therapeutic cannabis program that was signed into law by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

N.J. lawmakers advance second bill to decriminalize weed

Lawmakers are moving ahead with the second bill proposed in recent weeks that would decriminalize certain levels of marijuana possession in New Jersey, amid mounting protests both in the state and nationwide against racial inequality.

Their introduction comes months ahead of a ballot question set for November’s 2020 presidential election, where voters will decide whether recreational marijuana should be legalized for adult-use.

Some Pennsylvania Republicans are open to legalizing marijuana after coronavirus blew a hole in the budget: ‘It’s inevitable’

There’s a gaping budget hole caused by an economy in tatters.

There’s growing voter support and some assurance that the issue is no longer political poison. And there are tax windfalls, potentially huge revenues to be gleaned, if a bill can win bipartisan support in Harrisburg.

For those reasons, some Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are coming around — if slowly — to the idea of legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use.

The reasons are not hard to discern.

COVID-19: Some NY Lawmakers Renew Push To Legalize Marijuana Now, Citing Pandemic

Some New York lawmakers and the Legal Aid Society are calling for last-minute legislation that would legalize marijuana as the state deals with a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Earlier this year, prior to the pandemic, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that he had intentions to legalize marijuana, as it would potentially bring $300 million in revenues to the state.

However, once the pandemic struck, Cuomo dedicated his time and resources to that, and the state is now facing a potential $61 billion shortfall.