Two States Approve Marijuana Initiatives on Election Day 2022
Voters in two states approved ballot initiatives for the legalization of recreational marijuana in Tuesday’s elections. Maryland and Missouri join the growing list of states where the cannabis market is regulated for adult use.
Following the passage of Maryland’s Question 4, adults over 21 will be allowed to possess up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana or two marijuana plants. This will begin July 1, 2023.
The amendment also addresses the expungement of records for people arrested for marijuana possession, and for people serving time for simple possession to have their sentences reconsidered and records expunged. It would also establish a cannabis business assistance fund for small businesses, as well as minority- and women-owned businesses, entering the cannabis industry.
Missouri voters approved the state’s Amendment 3 ballot initiative which removes existing prohibitions on marijuana and allows adults 21 and over to purchase and possess up to three ounces and grow up to six flowering plants at home.
A 6% sales tax will go toward facilitating automatic expungements for certain nonviolent marijuana offenses, veterans’ health care, substance misuse treatment and the state’s public defender system.
The medical marijuana law still prohibits legal claims against employers based on an employer’s prohibition of being under the influence of marijuana while at work.
There are however new provisions state that employers may not discriminate against medical marijuana users unless
- the failure to do so would result in the loss of a monetary or licensing-related benefits under federal law or
- the person was under the influence of marijuana on the employer’s premises or during work hours
The prohibition on discrimination includes an employee who has tested positive for marijuana, unless the employer can show that the employee was “under the influence” at work. As with most laws this is not defined which may pose legal issues for employers.
Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota
Ballot initiatives in Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota did not pass.