US legalizes and decriminalizes on same night

Published on November 3, 2020 by David Wylie

Portland, Oregon

The big winners on election night in the US were cannabis, psychedelics—and the decriminalization of all drugs.

Here’s a quick wrap on what happened Tuesday night.

In what is set to become one of the biggest cannabis markets in the US, New Jersey has legalized recreational weed. With about 65% of NJ voters in favour a constitutional amendment, lawmakers in the state will soon pass legislation laying out how cannabis will become part of New Jersey life. The change will raise the stakes for neighboring states New York and Pennsylvania.

Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota all approved recreational cannabis in a referendum Tuesday night, making it 15 states now to legalize adult recreational use of cannabis.

Meanwhile, Mississippi, Montana and South Dakota all legalized medical cannabis.

Oregon decriminalizes

The most historic decision of the night goes to Oregonians, who passed one of the most significant drug policy changes ever in the US. Voters approved a ballot initiative to decriminalize possession of all drugs.

   • RELATED: Mark Zuckerberg supports decriminalization

It will remove criminal penalties for low-level drug possession offences—a first in the US. Instead, a $100 fine would be levied or the person could be required to complete a health assessment.

Also on US election night, Washington, DC, voters passed Initiative 81, which decriminalizes a wide range of psychedelic plants, including magic mushrooms. The measure makes the prosecution of those who use and sell them “among the Metropolitan Police Department’s lowest law enforcement priorities.”

Updates throughout election night, builds off ‘New Jersey votes to legalize‘ in news.