Four states will vote in November on initiatives to legalize recreational marijuana -- Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota. Two states — South Dakota and Mississippi — will decide on medical marijuana initiatives.
Ballot initiatives have become a popular way for states to legalize recreational marijuana after Washington and Colorado become the first states to approve legalized cannabis initiatives in 2012.
Currently, 11 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes.
Most of this year’s marijuana referendums were initiated by citizens who worked to gain signatures to qualify the measure for ballot access. However, New Jersey’s measure was put on the ballot by the state’s legislature, after Democratic legislative leaders were not able to get the votes last year to pass a bill legalizing marijuana.
Voters in Arizona and South Dakota are getting another chance to decide the issue after rejecting marijuana legalization measures in the past. In Arizona, voters narrowly rejected a measure to legalize recreational marijuana in 2016, while voters in South Dakota rejected medical cannabis ballot measures in 2006 and 2010.