Yesterday was a big step forward for drug legalization, as voters in four states approved referendum initiatives to legalize recreational marijuana. That includes Arizona, New Jersey, Montana, and South Dakota. Mississippi voters approved more limited initiatives legalizing medical marijuana. All but the South Dakota measure passed by large double-digit margins, and even in South Dakota legalization prevailed by a solid 6-7 points. It's particularly notable that legalization prevailed so easily in deep-red Montana and South Dakota, and in the red/trending purple state of Arizona.
Yesterday's victories build on previous successes for marijuana legalization over the last several election cycles, including in 2018. Once the New Jersey state legislature passes implementing legislation for Question 1, there will be a total of 1t states where recreational marijuana is legal (plus the District of Columbia), covering one-third of the American population.
The state of Oregon went further by becoming the first state to decriminalize noncommercial possession of virtually all previously illegal drugs. Measure 110 also passed by a large margin (58-41). Decriminalization is not the same thing as full legalization. Still, it is a major step forward. If it catches on in other states, it could mark the beginning of the end of the entire War on Drugs, which severely undermines liberty, threatens our constitutional rights, and greatly harms the poor and minorities.