How many states will try to legalize cannabis in 2022?

 NORML

Marijuana reform activists in several states around the country are already working to qualify various statewide reform measures for the 2022 ballot. Here’s a breakdown of current statewide, citizen-initiated efforts so far:

ARKANSAS

Legalization

Activists with Arkansas True Grass are working to qualify a ballot measure to legalize and regulate adult use marijuana in the state. The proposal would allow adults to legally purchase up to four ounces of marijuana and grow up to 12 marijuana plants at home. The proponents must gather 89,151 signatures by July 2022.

IDAHO

Depenalization

Idaho activists received the green light from the secretary of state’s office to begin collecting signatures for a proposed depenalization ballot initiative. If qualified, the measure would allow the adult possession of up to 3 ounces of marijuana on private property. The measure would not establish a regulated retail marketplace. Activists have until May 2022 to collect 65,000 signatures.

Medical marijuana

Another group of activists was also cleared to begin collecting signatures in hopes of qualifying a separate medical marijuana measure for the 2022 ballot. The proposal would allow qualifying patients to access up to four ounces of medical marijuana with a physician’s recommendation, as well as permit the home cultivation of up to six plants for therapeutic use.

MISSOURI

Legalization

Similar to the campaign to legalize medical marijuana in the state in 2018, Missouri residents could see several competing marijuana legalization measures on the state’s 2022 ballot. Fair Access Missouri, one of the groups working to qualify marijuana reform ballot measures, has submitted several initiatives, at least one of which would legalize adult use marijuana in the state.

New Approach Missouri, the proponents behind the successful medical marijuana initiative in 2018, also plan to qualify an adult use legalization measure for the 2022 ballot.

NEBRASKA

Medical marijuana

After a 2020 medical marijuana measure was stripped from the ballot, advocates with Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana are once again working to legalize medical marijuana access in the state. In order to avoid violating the single-subject rule that derailed the 2020 effort, activists now plan to place two separate, complementary initiatives on the ballot for 2022. Nebraska lawmakers considered legislation to legalize medical marijuana access in 2021, but the bill was ultimately defeated.

NORTH DAKOTA

Legalization

group of North Dakota activists are collecting signatures for a proposed adult use marijuana legalization initiative in 2022. The measure would allow adults to legally possess and purchase marijuana from retail outlets, as well as grow a limited number of marijuana plants at home for personal use. Proponents must collect nearly 27,000 signatures by January 2022.

A separate group, made up of proponents behind a failed 2018 legalization ballot measure, will likely be working to qualify an adult use initiative as well.

OHIO

Legalization

Proponents behind the effort, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CTRMLA), have submitted an initial slew of signatures in hopes of qualifying a statewide ballot measure that would push lawmakers to enact adult use marijuana legalization in Ohio. Once advocates collect 132,887 signatures, lawmakers will have four months to enact the reform. If lawmakers fail to act, then 132,887 additional signatures will be required to put the measure on the ballot before voters during the 2022 election.

The proposed measure would allow adults to legally purchase and possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and grow up to six plants at home.

OKLAHOMA

Legalization

A group of activists in the state is working to qualify a ballot measure to legalize and regulate adult use marijuana. The measure would allow adults to legally purchase marijuana from already existing dispensaries, as well as allow adults to grow up to 12 plants for personal use.

Medical

The same group of activists is also working on a separate ballot initiative to amend the state’s currently operating medical marijuana program. The proposed measure would transform the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority into the Oklahoma Cannabis Commission, an agency that would be responsible for regulating all legal marijuana products in the state. The measure would also fund research programs, mental health services, and law enforcement training.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Legalization

The proponents behind Amendment A, the 2020 ballot measure which was overturned by a state court, have submitted four separate adult use legalization initiatives, but will only pursue them if the state Supreme Court upholds the decision of the lower court nullifying Amendment A. Each of the four different approaches would legalize possession of up to four ounces of marijuana by adults, as well as the home cultivation of up to three marijuana plants. Some of the proposed measures would legalize commercial retail sales, others would not. The differences between the four approaches are outlined here.

If and when the measures are approved by state officials, proponents will need to gather at least 33,921 signatures for a constitutional measure and 16,961 for a statutory one by November 8.

WYOMING

Decriminalization

Reform proponents in Wyoming, including Wyoming NORML, were approved to start signature gathering for a proposal to remove the threat of jail time for adults who possess up to four ounces of marijuana, instead imposing a fine of $50 for first and second offenders, and $75 for subsequent offenders. Those caught growing marijuana at home would face a maximum $200 fine.

Medical marijuana

Advocates in the state were also approved to begin collecting signatures for a medical marijuana ballot initiative, which would permit qualifying patients to access up to up to four ounces of medical marijuana flower and up to 20 grams of medical marijuana-derived products per 30-day period. Patients would also be allowed to cultivate up to eight mature plants at home for therapeutic use.

The first step for advocates in the process is to collect a preliminary 100 signatures per initiative within a month.