Red State Voters Reject Legalizing Weed

( Red state voters took to the polls on election night to decide the fate of marijuana legalization. Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota had the issue in the air before it was rejected entirely in three of five states, according to Daily Caller.

Residents in Arkansas and Missouri reportedly had the choice to amend their state constitutions to allow for the use and possession of marijuana for those 21 and older, while the three other states had the opportunity to legalize the recreational use of the drug. Had all of the states passed the propositions, recreational marijuana would have become legal in almost half of the states in the U.S., including 23 states and Washington, D.C.

Only two of the five voted to legalize the drug by a narrow margin. While the “yes” vote in Maryland won by more than 30 points, Missouri had only just made it with over 53% of voters in approval. Now, weed businesses are looking to cash into a lucrative industry that has been failing, according to Kansas City Star.

“When we got into the medical market, everyone told us that we were going to make a bazillion, gazillion dollars and we ended up losing a billion,” said Chris McHugh, CEO of Vertical, a dispensary in St. Joseph. “I don’t really take those predictions to heart anymore. I think it’s just a wait-and-see type thing.”

Missouri’s referendum includes a 6% tax on marijuana sales.

The other three states, however, trailed by five to fifteen points. Their propositions would have only permitted up to an ounce of marijuana to be legally used and possessed. North Dakotans would reportedly be allowed to own up to three marijuana farms.

Missouri’s referendum reportedly included permitting those who have been convicted on marijuana-related charges to petition for parole or release. The move came after President Biden pardoned all those federally convicted of minor offenses.

Four of the five that voted on Election Day were reportedly won by former-President Donald Trump in 2020, indicating to activists that there is an opportunity to make more progress in red states.