5 Cannabis Storylines of 2021 General Election

There were no statewide votes to medicinal or adult-use cannabis in the 2021 general election, but that’s not to say balloters didn’t have a say in cannabis-related measures Tuesday night.

In Philadelphia, 73% of voters supported Question 1 to call on the Pennsylvania General Assembly and their governor to legalized adult-use cannabis for those 21 and older.

In Ohio, six of 14 municipalities approved local decriminalization measures to lower the penalty for misdemeanor cannabis offenses to the lowest penalty allowed by state law.

In Virginia, Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe, 50.7% to 48.6%, to take control of the governor’s seat ahead of the state’s 2022 reenactment by the General Assembly to finalize legal adult-use cannabis sales provisions passed by the 2021 Legislature.

In New Jersey, as of Wednesday morning, Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli was leading by the slimmest of margins to unseat Democratic incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy in a too-close-to-call race ahead of the state’s implementation of its voter-approved, adult-use legalization measure.

And, in Colorado, voters said “no” to Proposition 119, which aimed to increase the cannabis sales tax by 5% to provide additional revenue to charter schools.

Big Win in Philly

Representing the largest city in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia voters sent a clear message to the rest of the state: adult-use cannabis.

With roughly 73% of voters saying “yes” to Question 1, Philadelphians overwhelmingly supported amending the city’s charter to call on the Pennsylvania Republican-controlled Legislature and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf to pass a law decriminalizing, regulating and taxing the sale of adult-use cannabis, according results from the Philadelphia Board of Elections.

The approved question, which is non-binding, was sponsored by Philadelphia Democratic Councilman Derek Green.

Under current Pennsylvania law, possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in prison and a fine of up to $500, according to reform group NORML.

While Wolf has indicated he is in favor of legalization, a trio of adult-use efforts has yet to pick up steam among state lawmakers.

Municipalities Split on Decriminalization

Cannabis decriminalization efforts were for better or worse in Ohio.

Among the 13 villages and one city (from five counties) with decriminalization measures on the ballot Tuesday, six were well on their way to voting in favor of adopting a “sensible” cannabis ordinance to lower the penalties for misdemeanor offenses, according to unofficial county results Tuesday night.

The largest of the 14 municipalities, Martins Ferry, a city of roughly 7,000 people on the state line with Wheeling, W.Va., voted in favor of decriminalization, 435-404, according to Belmont County Board of Elections results.

Following are the outcomes of the 13 villages, according to county boards of elections results:

Brookside: 74 Yes | 76 No                  Dillonvale: 44 Yes | 59 NoLaurelville: 36 Yes | 49 NoMcArthur: 147 Yes | 183 No  Morristown: 24 Yes | 27 No               Mount Pleasant: 47 Yes | 66 NoMurray City:

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