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Localities Join States In Voting On Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

As he plied the streets of Killeen, Tx., in his Volvo SUV, Louie Minor recalled his time as a deputy constable whose duties included arresting marijuana users.  Minor, a 43-year-old Iraq war veteran, wanted to reach as many voters as possible in a mission that might have seemed improbable during his career in law enforcement. At each stop, Minor handed out a light-blue card emblazoned with a cannabis leaf and the message, “Decriminalize Marijuana Possession, " Stateline reports. In next week’s midterm elections, voters in Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota will consider statewide initiatives that would legalize recreational marijuana use for adults. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia already have legalized recreational marijuana. Medical cannabis is legal in nearly 40 states, plus the District of Columbia. 


Marijuana-related measures also will be on the ballot in dozens of municipalities in six other states, including Texas, another indication of how the nation’s attitudes toward marijuana are quickly evolving. Four of the six states — Colorado, Michigan, Montana and Rhode Island — already have legalized recreational marijuana. Local voters in those states will consider whether to expand availability or, in a few cases, reduce it by overturning or curtailing previously approved types of marijuana sales, according to a compilation of allot initiatives by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, commonly known as NORML. In Ohio and Texas, the question on some local ballots will be whether to decriminalize possession of small amounts of the drug.

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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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