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A tipping point’: Psychedelics, cannabis win big across the country on election night

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are realizing it’s not just about getting high,”

Despite the ballot initiatives, marijuana and

said Avis Bulbulyan, CEO of SIVA Enterprises.

Despite the ballot initiatives, marijuana and

“This is a tipping point for drug policy

Despite the ballot initiatives, marijuana and

absent any federal reform.”

Image: Marijuana grows at the Harmony Dispensary in Secaucus, N.J., July 11, 2018. (Bryan Anselm/The New York Times)

Marijuana grows at the Harmony Dispensary

in Secaucus, N.J., July 11, 2018. Voters approve

a constitutional amendment to legalize

cannabis in New Jersey, putting pressure on

neighboring states like New York.Bryan Anselm

/ The New York Times via Redux Pictures

fileNov. 5, 2020, 2:06 AM +03 / Update 

Nov. 5, 2020, 2:18 AM +03By Alicia

Victoria Lozano

As the nation awaits a final result from the

presidential election, a clear winner

Voters in Oregon and Washington, D.C., also

emerged Tuesday: drugs.

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Measures to legalize cannabis and decriminalize

other drugs won major victories this week

as five states — ArizonaNew JerseySouth DakotaMontana and Mississippi — legalized

some form of marijuana use and Oregon

became the first state to make possession of

small amounts of harder drugs, including

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cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine,

Voters in Oregon and Washington, D.C., also

violations not punishable by jail time.

Voters in Oregon and Washington, D.C., also

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Voters in Oregon and Washington, D.C., also

approved measures to allow for the

therapeutic use of psychedelic mushrooms,

which are already being prescribed to help

some terminally ill patients in Canada cope

Voters in Oregon and Washington, D.C., also

with pain and end-of-life anxiety.

Voters in Oregon and Washington, D.C., also

“People are realizing it’s not just about getting

Voters in Oregon and Washington, D.C., also

high,” said Avis Bulbulyan, CEO of SIVA

Voters in Oregon and Washington, D.C., also

Enterprises, a cannabis business development

Voters in Oregon and Washington, D.C., also

and solutions firm based in Glendale,

California, near Los Angeles. “This is a tipping

point for drug policy absent any federal reform.”

On Tuesday, South Dakota became the first

state whose voters approved both recreational

and medical cannabis in the same election.

Medicinal marijuana also was made legal in

Mississippi. Meanwhile, New Jersey, Montana

and Arizona all legalized recreational cannabis.

Full results: See 2020 ballot measures approved

“Despite this public consensus, elected officials

have far too often remained unresponsive to the

legalization issue,” Erik Altieri, executive director

Voters in Oregon and Washington, D.C., also

of the National Organization for the Reform of

Marijuana Laws, or NORML, said in a statement.

NORML has lobbied for the end of marijuana

prohibitions since it was founded in 1970.

“These results once again illustrate that support

for legalization extends across geographic and

demographic lines,” Altieri said. “The success

of these initiatives proves definitively that

marijuana legalization is not exclusively a

‘blue’ state issue, but an issue that is support

by a majority of all Americans —

regardless of party politics.”

Download the NBC News app for breaking

news and politics

Just 10 years ago, recreational cannabis was

illegal in all 50 states, but that started to change

in 2012, when Colorado and Washington

became the first states to legalize marijuana

for recreational use. At the time, California,

which has one of the biggest and oldest marijuana

markets in the country, allowed only

medicinal use of cannabis.

A domino effect followed, with several more

states venturing into the medicinal markets,

including Pennsylvania in 2016 and New York

in 2014. Now, 15 states, two territories and

Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana

for recreational use, while 34 states and two

territories allow medical marijuana.

Related

NEWS

MAP: See the states where marijuana is legal

“It’s fantastic to see this cannabis sweep,” said

Stuart Titus, CEO of Medical Marijuana Inc., a

hemp products company based in San Diego.

“There is a tremendous momentum building.

I think we’re right on the precipice of changing

federal policy with so many states coming online.”

Despite the ballot initiatives, marijuana and

other drugs remain illegal at the federal level.

The Drug Enforcement Administration

Oregon, however, became the first state to

continues to classify cannabis as a 

Despite the ballot initiatives, marijuana and

Schedule 1 drug akin to LSD, heroin and ecstasy.

Despite the ballot initiatives, marijuana and

In New Jersey, some advocates for cannabis

Despite the ballot initiatives, marijuana and

legalization worry that the state ballot measure

Despite the ballot initiatives, marijuana and

remains too murky and would not tackle

Despite the ballot initiatives, marijuana and

social justice concerns surrounding the

so-called war on drugs.

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The question posed to voters appears simple

at first glance: “Do you approve amending

the Constitution to legalize a controlled

form of marijuana called ‘cannabis’?”

While the majority of voters said yes, the

language would not necessarily decriminalize

all adult-use cannabis. Instead, it would

make only “a controlled form” of the plant

legal, said Chris Goldstein, a regional

organizer for NORML.

“New Jersey voters sent a message to the

Legislature — they want prohibition to end,”

he says. “They want people to stop

getting arrested.”

The Legislature will now have to pass

another measure to set up the new cannabis

marketplace. Whether that will reduce

marijuana arrests and convictions remains

to be seen, Goldstein said.

Meanwhile, Arizona’s measure allows people

convicted of certain cannabis crimes to

Oregon, however, became the first state to

seek expungement of their records. Arizona

Oregon, however, became the first state to

voters narrowly defeated a legal pot proposal in 2016.

Oregon, however, became the first state to

Cannabis was not the only drug on the ballot.

Despite the ballot initiatives, marijuana and

In Oregon, voters approved Measure 110

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to allow a person found in possession of small

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amounts of hard drugs to avoid jail time by

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paying a $100 fine or attending an addiction

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recovery center. The centers would be fund

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through tax revenue collected from the state’s

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legal cannabis program.

Separately, Oregon voters passed measures to

Voters in Oregon and Washington, D.C., also

decriminalize psychedelic drugs, as did voters

Voters in Oregon and Washington, D.C., also

in Washington, D.C.

Oregon, however, became the first state to

In Washington, D.C., Initiative 81 will lower the

Oregon, however, became the first state to

enforcement priority for “entheogenic plants

Oregon, however, became the first state to

and fungi,” or psychedelic mushrooms and

Oregon, however, became the first state to

mescaline-containing cacti. The ballot measure

Oregon, however, became the first state to

would not legalize psychedelics in the

Voters in Oregon and Washington, D.C., also

nation’s capital.

Oregon, however, became the first state to

legalize psilocybin, also called magic mushrooms.

Measure 109 calls for the manufacture and

Oregon, however, became the first state to

therapeutic use of psilocybin to treat patients

Oregon, however, became the first state to

with mental health disorders. Some research

suggests that psilocybin, when ingested in small

doses under supervised settings, can ease stress

suggests that psilocybin, when ingested in small

and induce feelings of happiness.

In one recent study, patients who were given a

single dose of the psychedelic drug to ease

depression and anxiety still felt its positive effects

years later. The patients were given small amounts

suggests that psilocybin, when ingested in small

of psilocybin in 2016 to look at whether it could ease

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cancer-related anxiety and depression. Eighty percent

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of the patients said their symptoms faded.

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“What is permanent is that I don’t have anxiety

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about cancer. Not only about my cancer returning,

but how I viewed my reoccurrence when it did

happen,” Dinah Bazer, who was diagnosed in

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March with a type of rare gastrointestinal

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cancer, said at the time.

Despite the ballot initiatives, marijuana and

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