US voters embrace landmark drug reform measures in 2020 election

While the 2020 US election has turned into a nail-biter with a deeply partisan divide splitting the country with razor-thin margins, a broad array of ballot measures relating to drug reform have turned out to be some of the only things Americans seem to agree on. A profoundly progressive wave of drug reforms have been passed by US voters, including four states legalizing recreational marijuana, one state decriminalizing natural psychedelics, and Oregon decriminalizing all drugs and legalizing psilocybin psychotherapy.

Four states passed new recreational marijuana measures in the 2020 election. Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota passed legalization measures introducing laws allowing for recreational use of marijuana. These measures will most likely manifest practically in ways similar to recreational roll-outs of marijuana in other US regions over the past few years. South Dakota and Mississippi both also passed ballot measures legalizing medical marijuana.

Contrasting the tight margins seen in the presidential race, these marijuana ballot measures passed much more comfortably. Although there are still small volumes of votes being counted, most of these measures have been approved by voters by around 10 percentage points.

Arizona, for example, is an effective example of the growing progressive attitudes to drug policy in the United States. The state said no to marijuana legalization in 2016, although the results were tight – 51.6 percent against versus 48.6 percent in favor. Now, in 2020, when presented with marijuana legalization again, Arizona is roundly in favor with the current count sitting at 59 percent for and 40 percent against.

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