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In states across the country, voters have sent a clear message that they want to ease recreational use of drugs. Yesterday, residents of Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota voted to join the ranks of 11 other states that did so.
In 2012, Colorado and Washington took a leap to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Colorado has collected $ 1.23 billion in cannabis taxes and fees since 2014, including more than $ 302 million last year alone. Washington overtook Colorado that same year, grossing $ 395.5 million.
Oregon, which legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2014, took a step further on Tuesday and voted to classify illegal drugs. Prop 110 makes possession of small amounts of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs a civil offense with a fine of $ 100, but no jail time. However, this measure does not go so far as to define the manufacture or sale of the drug.
Oregon also passed Prop 109, legalizing the psilocybin commonly known as the magic mushroom. Unlike cannabis, this measure only approves the use of hallucinogenic substances in licensed facilities for mental health purposes. Studies have shown that psilocybin can be used to treat serious depressive disorders, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Washington DC did not vote on the legalization of psilocybin, but it did approve the classification of the hallucinogen. The Entheogenic Plants and Fungi Policy Act of 2020 was passed on 3 November with 76.3% approval at the time of the report. This action directs law enforcement to give the lowest priority to the investigation and arrest of adults associated with pathogenic plants and fungi.
Along with the legalization of marijuana, states like Montana and Arizona will allow individuals serving specific cannabis-related sentences to request a sentence or even an expulsion. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse, 55 million American adults are currently using marijuana. In addition, more than half of Americans consider cannabis use to be socially acceptable.
However, cannabis also accounted for 40% of all drug seizures in the United States in 2018, according to a PEW study. Cannabis, like hallucinogenic substances and other drugs, is still illegal under federal law. Local authorities may choose to ban marijuana sales or cultivation.
California was the first state to legalize cannabis for medical use in 1996. More than 20 years later, South Dakota and Mississippi follow suit and today, 35 states and 4 territories allow medical marijuana use. .