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Responses to the survey we sent readers yesterday are pouring in. Many of you requested more information about legalization. This week, we provide an overview of where legalization initiatives are working their way towards the November 2020 ballot. Next week, we’ll provide a complete list of states that have legalized marijuana and when, as per your requests.

Here’s the playbook.
Phase 1. Decriminalize marijuana. People think governments wouldn’t do that if pot were dangerous. Use increases.
Phase 2. Select ballot initiative states. Buy signatures to legalize marijuana for medical use. An industry emerges to produce pot medicines, recruit more users, finance more ballot initiatives, and lobby state and federal lawmakers.
Phase 3. Select ballot initiative states. Buy signatures to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Industry expands, targets kids, finances more ballot initiatives, and intensifies lobbying until voila! Pot is legal in America.
And watch out—the Playbook is beginning with psilocybin mushrooms and even all drugs. Read on. (For more information about how the Playbook evolved, read “Tracking the money that is legalizing marijuana and why it matters” here.)

Arizona, recreational
Smart and Safe Arizona raised $2,529,255 to date to legalize marijuana for those age 21 and older. The top five donors are all marijuana businesses (Harvest Enterprises, CuraLeaf, Cresco Labs, MM Enterprises USA, and the Arizona Dispensaries Association.) Sponsors are seeking permission to collect signatures electronically in light of COVID. They need 237,645 signatures by July 2. See Ballotpedia here
Arkansas, recreational
The Marijuana Policy Project is behind Arkansans for Cannabis Reform, which has filed two ballot initiatives. One would legalize and regulate marijuana for those age 21 and older. The other would expunge marijuana offenses from criminal records. Pot shops selling the drug for medical use are collecting signatures, but COVID has slowed things down. They need 89,151 signatures by July 3. See Ballotpedia here.
Mississippi, medical
Mississippians for Compassionate Care (Medical Marijuana 2020) placed Initiative 65 on the November ballot. It would legalize marijuana for medical use for more than 20 conditions, allow possession of 2.5 ounces at a time, and tax the drug at the state sales tax rate of 7 percent. The legislature passed an alternative, Initiative 65A, leaving the specifics up to future legislative action if the alternative passes instead. See Ballotpedia here.
Montana, recreational
The Marijuana Policy Project is backing New Approach Montana, which must collect 25,468 valid signatures by June 19 to place two initiatives on the November ballot. I-190 would legalize recreational marijuana use, cultivation, and sales. CI-118 would make the minimum consumption age 21. See Ballotpedia here.
Nebraska, medical
Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws is leading an effort to legalize marijuana for medical use. The measure would allow both adults and children to use the drug upon the recommendation of a licensed physician or nurse practitioner. It would authorize state government to develop laws, rules, and regulations to govern the program. See Ballotpedia here.
New Jersey, recreational
The state legislature placed an initiative on the November ballot that would legalize marijuana cultivation, distribution, and sales for recreational use by those age 21 or older. See Ballotpedia here.
North Dakota, recreational
Legalize ND is collecting signatures to place two initiatives on the November ballot. One would legalize marijuana use for people age 21 and older and allow them to possess grow, process, or transport up to 12 plants for personal use. The other would prohibit home cultivation but legalize the drug, allow a person to possess two ounces, and tax sales at 10 percent. See Ballotpedia here.
Oklahoma, recreational
Supporters have filed three initiatives to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Oklahoma, but it is unclear if they will make it to the November ballot. Question 807 would legalize marijuana for those age 21 or older and impose a 15 percent excise tax on pot sales. Question 808 would create a constitutional right to use marijuana and exonerate or release from prison those convicted of marijuana offenses. Question 813 would legalize marijuana for those age 18 or older and impose a 25 percent tax on sales. See Ballotpedia here.
Supporters are collecting signatures to place Initiative 42 on the November ballot. Oregon legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2014, but supporters say that measure discriminates because no one can smoke pot unless they own a home. A spokesman who wishes to open “cannabis cafes” says he regards the measure as the next step towards “reasonable reform.” More than 600 retail marijuana outlets are helping collect signatures. See Ballotpedia here.
South Dakota, medical and recreational
New Approach South Dakota, Marijuana Policy Project, and South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws are behind two legalization initiatives on the November ballot. Measure 62 would establish a medical marijuana program in the state, allowing people to possess up to three ounces of marijuana and to grow three plants “or another amount as prescribed by a physician.” Constitutional Amendment A would legalize marijuana for recreational use. South Dakota will be the first state in the nation to vote on legalizing marijuana for both medical and recreational use in the same election. See Ballotpedia here.

The ball is back in advocates' court as they attempt to apply the Playbook to psilocybin mushrooms and other controlled substances. This effort began in Denver and spread to a few other cities before being embraced as a statewide endeavor.
Oregon, medical
The Oregon Psilocybin Society is sponsoring IP 34, called the Psilocybin Services Act, a ballot initiative that would permit licensed providers to administer a psilocybin product to people age 21 and older “through a process that consists of preparation, administration, and integration.” It requires a two-year period for the Oregon Health Authority to adopt psilocybin services and licensing. See Ballotpedia here.
Washington DC, medical
Decriminalize Nature DC is leading the Washington DC Entheogenic Plants and Fungus Initiative, which would declare that police treat the non-commercial cultivation, distribution, possession, and use of these products among its lowest law-enforcement priorities. These plants and fungi – magic mushrooms, peyote, and iboga -- contain the controlled substances of ibogaine, dimethyltryptamine, mescaline, psilocybin, or psilocyn. See Ballotpedia here.

Drug Policy Action has donated $730,000 of $1.2 million to collect signatures for the Oregon Drug Addiction Treatment Initiative (IP 44), which would create a drug addiction treatment and recovery program financed by the state’s marijuana tax revenue and reclassify possession of Schedule I-IV controlled substances from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class E violation resulting in a $100 fine. ACLU Oregon, New Approach Oregon, and others also financially support the measure. See Ballotpedia here.
Initiative 1715 may appear on Washington State’s November ballot. The measure would expand treatment using the state’s marijuana tax revenues and reduce criminal penalties for personal use of all drugs. See Ballotpedia here.

The irony of all these measures is that we already have the tools to achieve these end goals. Our drug laws can be (and are) used to mandate people into assessment and treatment if needed. Our FDA laws provide opportunities to conduct clinical trials of controlled substances for medical use. If they prove to be safe and effective to treat a specific condition, they are placed in lower schedules of the drug laws or removed altogether.
If we’ve learned nothing else from the COVID-19 crisis that afflicts us all, it is the need to use these tools, giving science the time it needs to produce medicines that protect our health.
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The Marijuana Report Staff
Executive Editor, Sue Rusche. Editor, Nicole Carter. Proofreading, Harry Rusche, Professor Emeritus. IT Consultant, Lee Clontz. Social Media Coordinators, Margarita Eberline, Shannon Murphy, MD, FAAP, and Nicole Carter.
National Families in Action Board of Directors
William F. Carter, Chairman of the Board, Coldwell Banker Atlanta. Sue Rusche, President and CEO, Atlanta. Richard L. Brown, Secretary, Attorney (Ret.), Founder & Chairman, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, Lakewood Ranch, Florida. Jeannine F. Adams, Director, President and CEO, J. Addams & Partners, Atlanta. Jack L. Arbiser, MD, PhD, Director, Thomas J. Lawley Professor of Dermatology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta. LLP, Atlanta. Debbie Berndt, Director, Parent Movement 2.0, Walnut Creek, California. Margarita Eberline, Director, Strategy Director, Ultim Marketing, Atlanta. Robert Margolis, PhD, Director, Founder, Caron Solutions Intensive Outpatient Program, Roswell, Georgia. Shannon Murphy, MD, FAAP, Director, Birmingham, Alabama.
Senior Adviser
Kent “Oz” Nelson, Chairman and CEO (Ret.), United Parcel Service, Atlanta.

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