A nationwide effort to loosen drug laws won significant victories on Tuesday as the two states voted to legalize cannabis and Oregon became the first to eliminate the possession of small amounts of drugs. hard form.
Voters in Arizona and New Jersey passed state voting measures to legalize recreational use of cannabis, two major victories in the movement to eradicate the harm of cannabis criminalization. .
The states along with the District of Columbia and 11 others have legalized adult use of marijuana, which is still illegal at the federal level in the US. This victory put New Jersey on the path to having the largest east coast weed market and one of the largest markets in America. It also increases pressure on neighboring states, especially New York, to follow suit. New Jersey must first set the rules before the weed businesses open, so it’s not clear when the new industry will begin.
And in Oregon, voters made history by passing the first state law in the United States to deregulate difficult drugs including heroin, cocaine, and LSD. The measure supported by criminal justice reform groups is aimed at diverting people away from prisons and prisons by viewing ownership as a citation and expanding access to treatment and rehabilitation. .
Arizona’s measure to legalize possession of up to one ounce of adult marijuana and establish a licensing system for retail sales, likely to begin in March. The state already has active marijuana clinics.
The AP called both races on Tuesday night and initial results seem to show wide margins in favor of legalization.
Cannabis measures also address the aftermath of the war on drugs, with laws disproportionately targeting Blacks and browns for arrest and imprisonment. Arizona law allows convicts of pot to have their records removed by the court. Montana and South Dakota also voted on measures to legalize cannabis this week, but the races were not called in late on Tuesday.
Oregon’s drug initiative will allow people caught with small amounts of hard-to-avoid drugs to be tried and possibly go to jail, by paying a $ 100 fine and joining an addiction rehabilitation program. . The treatment centers will be funded with legalized marijuana revenues, which was approved in Oregon a few years ago.
“Today’s victory is a landmark statement that it’s time to stop criminalizing users,” said Kassandra Frederique, executive director of the Drug Policy Coalition, which advocates for the measure. drug.
Oregon voters also passed a measure making it the first state to legalize the therapeutic use of hallucinogenic fungus.