Midterm election results show that approximately 12 million more people in America can now legally access recreational marijuana.
Voters passed ballot measures loosening cannabis laws in Missouri and Maryland. The drug, however, “is still illegal at the federal level and is classified as a Schedule I substance,” according to Fox News.
With approximately two-thirds of votes counted in Maryland, the legalize cannabis proposition passed with 65 percent voting in favor of the measure.
The measure read: “Do you favor the legalization of the use of cannabis by an individual who is at least 21 years of age on or after July 1, 2023, in the State of Maryland?”
Celebrating the win, Luis Merchan, chairman and CEO of cannabis cultivator Flora Growth, said:
“It’s historic to see that Maryland, right on the doorstep of our nation’s capital in DC, has legalized adult recreational use of cannabis. With this much momentum, we strongly urge the federal government to start to raise action to allow safe banking access and lift other restrictions to a thriving industry, which is poised to help U.S. consumers and bring in tax revenue as well.”
Missouri’s voters passed a similar bill by a slim margin. With 99.9 percent of ballots recorded, the bill reportedly passed with 53 percent of voters approving the measure.
Passage of the measure removes prohibitions on the “purchase, possession, consumption, use, delivery, manufacture, and sale of marijuana for personal use for adults over the age of twenty-one.”
Missouri’s bill also included a six percent tax on retail sales of recreational marijuana.
Similar measures were presented to voters in Arkansas and North Dakota. Those measures, however, were rejected by narrow margins.