Marijuana legalization was a clear winner in the November election, as one in three Americans will now live in a state with legal marijuana. In red states like Montana and South Dakota; swing states like Arizona; and blue states like New Jersey, marijuana legalization ballot measures were extremely successful, in many cases at levels approaching supermajorities. In every single one of these states–from red to blue, east to west, urban to rural–marijuana legalization far outperformed the states’ Democratic tickets.
In my state of California, voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 64 in 2016, which legalized marijuana use. Following its passage, marijuana arrests decreased by 56%, demonstrating the power decriminalization has to curb mass incarceration.
None of this should come as a surprise. We knew the popularity of marijuana legalization and the MORE Act long before November 3rd. Support for these policies has been steadily rising since the 1970s. This summer, polling from Data for Progress and the Justice Collaborative Institute found that when asked about its specific provisions, 59 percent of voters, including a majority of Republicans, support the MORE Act.