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Election 2020: All you need to know about cannabis legalization on the ballot

February 27, 2020
election 2020 marijuana voter guide
Adult-use cannabis legalization in the White House, or your state, and in your town, depends on your vote. (artfriday/AdobeStock, Leafly)

Quick facts:

When is the election?

  • Primary elections occur state-by-state through September.
  • Super Tuesday is March 5, with 14 state primaries that account for 40% of the US population.
  • The General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.

How do I vote?

Where do I vote?

Depending on the state, you can vote early by mail, absentee vote, bring your absentee ballot to the polls, or vote at a polling station on Election Day. Click here to find your polling place.

What am I voting on?

The next President of the United States. Also: 33 US Senate seats; all 435 seats in the House of Representatives; 11 state governors; thousands of state senators and representatives; and many local city council, or county supervisorial races.

What’s at stake?

Everything for cannabis: Federal and state adult-use cannabis legalization; medical cannabis policy reform; state-level legalization; as well the state and local leaders who will implement or block reform. To give an example, about 79,000 votes in three states decided the 2016 presidential election. By contrast, 100 million eligible voters did not vote in that election.

Who should I vote for?

  • It’s up to you. Read Leafly’s guides below, and other groups’ endorsements. Ask local and state candidates where they stand on legalization, and legal stores.
  • NORML recently graded governors on cannabis policy.
  • The Cannabis Voter Project tallies how members of Congress have voted on cannabis.

The State of the Leaf 2020

A total of 34 states now allow medical marijuana. Of those, 11 states plus Washington, D.C. have also legalized cannabis for adults 21 and older. Here’s our map of which states are legal, featured in Leafy’s 2020 Jobs Count.

Cannabis on 2020 state ballots

These states may have legalization measures on the Nov. 2020 ballot.

StateMedical or RecreationalName/SponsorSignatures neededSignature deadline
ArizonaRecreationalSmart & Safe Arizona237,465July 2
ArkansasRecreationalArkansans for Cannabis Reform89,151July 3
FloridaRecreationalMake It Legal FloridaEffort abandonedNow looking at 2022
IdahoMedicalIdaho Cannabis Coalition55,057April 30
MississippiMedicalMississippians for Compassionate Care85,000Signatures submitted Sept. 2019
MissouriRecreationalMissourians for a New Approach160,000Mid-May
MontanaRecreational (two measures have been filed)New Approach Montana25,468 and 50,936, respectively
NebraskaMedicalNebraskans for Sensible Marijuana LawsUnclearUnclear
New JerseyRecreational(Advisory vote only)Placed on ballot by LegislatureNone necessary
North DakotaRecreationalLegalizeND13,452July 6
OhioRecreationalCleveland attorney Tom Haren443,000July 1
OklahomaRecreationalNew Approach PAC178,00090 days after approval
South DakotaMedicalNew Approach South DakotaOn Nov. 2020 ballot as Initiated Measure 26Completed

Presidential candidate positions on cannabis

election 2020 marijuana voter guide

Democratic voters have a spectrum of legalization options to chose from this primary season. (Leafly)

Where they stand: Every original presidential candidate’s policy on cannabis, legalization, and drug reform.

presidential candidates and where they stand on marijuana legalization

About 61% of Americans support marijuana legalization, Pew Research finds. (Leafly)

Each candidates’ marijuana record, plans

Want to know more about each candidate’s past and present legalization policies? Click below.

Joe Biden:

Mike Bloomberg:

Pete Buttigieg:

Note: Pete Buttigieg ended his campaign on March 1, 2020.

Amy Klobuchar:

Note: Amy Klobuchar ended her campaign on March 2, 2020.

Bernie Sanders:

Elizabeth Warren:

What about Trump?

President Trump has been all over the place with his opinions on federal cannabis legalization, medical marijuana, and drug policy in general.

Here’s a selection of our latest coverage:

Primary election schedule

DateStatePrimary or caucus Winner
February 3IowaCaucusButtigieg/Sanders
February 11New HampshirePrimaryBernie Sanders
February 22NevadaCaucusBernie Sanders
February 29South CarolinaPrimaryJoe Biden
March 3
North CarolinaPrimary
March 10IdahoPrimary
North DakotaPrimary
March 17ArizonaPrimary
March 24GeorgiaPrimary
April 4AlaskaPrimary
April 7WisconsinPrimary
April 28ConnecticutPrimary
New YorkPrimary
Rhode IslandPrimary
May 2KansasPrimary
May 5IndianaPrimary
May 12NebraskaPrimary
West VirginiaPrimary
May 19KentuckyPrimary
June 2MontanaPrimary
New JerseyPrimary
New MexicoPrimary
South DakotaPrimary
July 13-16Democratic ConventionMilwaukee
August 24-27Republican ConventionCharlotte
November 32020 Election

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Leafly Staff

Leafly is the world’s largest cannabis information resource, empowering people in legal cannabis markets to learn about the right products for their lifestyle and wellness needs. Our team of cannabis professionals collectively share years of experience in all corners of the market, from growing and retail, to science and medicine, to data and technology.

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