The Odds on More US States Legalizing Recreational Weed
Posted on: November 2, 2022, 01:29h.
Last updated on: November 10, 2022, 02:23h.
Since 2012, 19 US states have legalized recreational marijuana use. Which will be next to tax and regulate it?
This election, five states have legalization measures on the ballot: Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Handicapper Dan Kilbridge of the sports betting website bookies.com set the odds.
Maryland’s Grassroots Support
Maryland is the most likely state to legalize marijuana this election cycle, according to Kilbridge. He set the odds of the state’s Question 4 passing at -500, with a probability of 83.33%.
This is based on a study by the Washington Post and the University of Maryland, which found 73% support for recreational cannabis. Passage would bring the state into statutory line with its neighbor, Washington DC, where recreational weed has been legal since 2014.
Maryland’s amendment would take effect in July 2023, rendering possession, use, and private growing (up to a certain amount) no longer a crime.
Considering that Missouri-based Anheuser-Busch even sells cannabis products in states where it’s legal, Kilbridge thinks the Show-Me State is ready to puff, puff, pass a recreational marijuana bill. Though prior attempts to legalize recreational cannabis there have failed, Missouri legalized medical marijuana in 2018. The state’s odds of passing Amendment 3 are set at -150, with a 60% probability.
Even Dakota Money
Kilbridge gives the same relatively even odds to both North and South Dakota: -110 with a 52.38% probability of recreational pot measures passing in each state. This alone may be enough to make residents of both states – who always claim how different they are from one another – want to get legally high.
North Dakota voters overwhelmingly rejected legalized recreational weed in 2018, to the tune of 59%. According to bookies.com, strong opposition from the state’s wealthy oil industry played a part in defeating Measure 3. This time, however, the North Dakota Petroleum Council told the Associated Press that it won’t pay to try to defeat recreational cannabis. At the same time, pro-cannabis groups have raised much more money.
Legal recreational weed actually passed in South Dakota in 2020 by 54%. However, that measure was struck when the State Supreme Court – siding with a lawsuit from Republican Gov. Kristi Noem – decided it violated the state’s constitution. Noem is up for reelection this year.
Where Weed Will be Whacked
Don’t count on cannabis stores opening in Little Rock anytime soon. Though Arkansas approved medical marijuana in 2016, bookies.com set the odds of the state’s Issue 4 passing at only +180, with a 35.71% likelihood.
“There are complicated politics in play for the 2022 vote,” the website explained, noting that, so far, no deep red state has legalized recreational weed and that even some pro-pot people are against Issue 4.
The measure’s restrictive terms would grant 80 recreational licenses to existing medical marijuana dispensaries, using a lottery to license only 40 others.
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