Bolts Magazine provides a guide to drug referendums in the 2022 midterms

by Alex Burness, Bolts

It’s only been ten years since voters in Colorado and Washington State legalized recreational marijuana. Those were national milestones at the time, but others quickly followed; recreational marijuana is now legal in seventeen more states, and the November midterms could expand that map further, potentially bringing legal marijuana deeper into conservative areas.

oregon drug decriminalization, dispensary open sign

Five states are voting on legalizing recreational marijuana, and most are staunchly Republican. The issue has long drawn support across the political spectrum, and these elections will again test the sense of a growing national consensus against marijuana prohibition.

Even President Biden, who was a dedicated soldier in America’s war on drugs while a senator, is coming around. Last week he ordered a federal review of marijuana’s classification as a “Schedule 1” substance, defined as having h “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” and he pardoned an estimated 6,500 people with federal convictions for marijuana possession, plus thousands more convicted in the District of Columbia.

The national debate over the war on drugs is also shifting past marijuana. Colorado, which helped launch the wave of weed legalization a decade ago, is now considering emulating a measure adopted by Oregon in 2020 and legalizing psychedelics.

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