Here’s the understatement of the year – 2020 has gone a little differently than we’d first expected. As the clock ticked toward the start of a fresh new decade, we may have resolved to lose weight, to spend more time with friends, or to get that promotion we’ve long been after – our eyes aglow with enviable optimism. Virtually everyone’s plans and priorities dramatically shifted at the onset of COVID-19. Citizens all over the globe have collectively strived to flatten the curve, adapting our daily lives as extensively as possible to limit our potential exposure. Countless Americans began working remotely, homeschooling their children, and limiting our usual activities and errands to a strictly essential basis.
With an ongoing worldwide pandemic, record-setting wildfires and the sudden threat of murder-hornets that barely made our radar, the year felt like a rushed combination of finale plotlines on a soon-to-be-axed TV show. As such, it’s only natural to feel as though time has stopped in some moments, like the world is rushing past us in others, or that time doesn’t really exist anymore. Whether or not it feels like it, we’ve officially made it seven months since the pandemic was declared – and now, election season has arrived.
A number of divisive and impactful issues are on the ballot this November, and cannabis laws are subject to change in a few ways. As of today, thirty-three of fifty American states and the District of Columbia have opted to legalize cannabis for medicinal use. A third of those states also permit recreational cannabis consumption for adults over the age of twenty-one. Our smoke shop team is here to review the states offering citizens the choice for legal cannabis in 2020 – and to explain what’s included in the current ballot measures.
In the state of Arizona, 2020 voters have the option to approve Proposition 207, or “The Smart and Safe Arizona Act.” This measure would legalize recreational cannabis for all Arizona residents above the age of 21 – allowing residents to possess up to five grams of THC concentrate or an ounce of cannabis flower. Households could also legally grow up to six total cannabis plants. Cannabis products would be taxed the state’s 5.6% sales tax rate plus an additional 16% excise tax.
A close race in 2016 ruled against cannabis by a 51% to 48% majority. However, in the years since the prior ballot issue was overruled, studies have suggested that 51% to 57% of registered Arizona voters support cannabis legalization. In other words, Arizona voters should gear up for another close race – but the odds may be in favor of statewide legalization.
Montana voters will have the chance to legalize recreational weed this term. If passed, Montana I-90 would allow adult residents aged eighteen and older as many as four seedlings and four cannabis plants per household. The measure would also benefit anyone behind bars for cannabis-related offenses – letting them request resentencing or the expungement of their charges. Recreational cannabis would be taxed at a rate of twenty percent.
A second measure, CI-118, would restrict the legalization under I-90 (if passed) to Montana residents aged 21 and older. If I-90 alone passed, its legalization changes would apply to everyone aged eighteen and up – and if only CI-118 passed, neither measure would take effect.
New Jersey became the fifteenth state to legalize medical cannabis in 2010. Ten years later, residents are faced with the option to legalize recreational use with New Jersey Public Question 1. While the state has yet to pass recreational legalization measures, a state Cannabis Regulatory Commission was established in 2019. If Public Question 1 is passed, Commission officials would determine possession limits.
Cannabis would only be subject to a sales tax of 6.625% statewide, with the option for counties to add an additional two percent tax on recreational cannabis and use proceeds at their own discretion. Advocates of the measure praise the low tax rate, claiming that it’ll help keep legal options to eliminate black market competition and help to maximize the state’s revenue.
As of today, South Dakota has some of the harshest penalties for possession in the nation. They currently forbid the use of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes alike. However, both are subject to change this term. South Dakota Initiated Measure 26 would let Doctors prescribe cannabis for the treatment of a range of ailments. A second measure called Constitutional Amendment A proposes the legalization of recreational weed for residents aged twenty-one and up.
While the traditionally conservative state may not seem likely to approve either bill, there may be hope for its advocates. Sixty percent of voters voiced support of Constitutional Amendment A, and seventy percent said they planned to vote for Initiated Measure 26. If either measure passes without the success of the other, a South Dakota medicinal cannabis program will be put into effect.
Last but not necessarily least – Mississippi. The state has yet to legalize medicinal or recreational weed, but Initiative 65 could change that. The measure would allow the prescription of cannabis for a range of health issues. An additional measure could help wary residents compromise on the issue – restricting the prescription of medical weed to patients with terminal illnesses. Recent studies have shown that more than eighty percent of Mississippi residents – and seventy-six percent of surveyed Mississippi Republicans – are in favor of legalizing medicinal cannabis.
Hit the Polls – Then Hit the Pipe Shop!
Whatever your stance or the state you live in, don’t forget to vote! While you wait for the election results this term, why not calm your nerves with some retail therapy? 710 Pipes is proud to offer a quality selection of smoke shop products and accessories including smart rigs, rolling papers vaporizers and so much more! Our Northglenn and Denver head shops (on Colfax and near D.U.) are open seven days a week. Denver University students get 10% off with a valid student ID!
Not in Colorado? Still staying indoors in the name of social distancing? If you’re over age 21 in Colorado or other legal U.S. states seeking quality pipe shop products, our online smoke shop has several options available for immediate purchase from the safety and comfort of your couch. You’ll also find exceptional prices on hundreds more of our popular smoke shop devices and accessories – all deliverable straight to your doorstep. Whether you’re shopping online or onsite, 710 Pipes is proud to provide you with the very best pipe shop and vape shop products on the market today.