Legalizing marijuana is one thing Americans are becoming less polarized about, judging by ballot initiatives


As Americans head to the polls more divided than ever on social and economic issues, there’s one thing they’re actually coming together on: cannabis.

Much has been made of whether a victory for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, or a potential liberal sweep in the Senate, could bolster marijuana companies. But initiatives on the ballot in a handful of conservative states show Republicans are increasingly on board with legalization as well — perhaps paving the way for an end to federal prohibition, no matter who controls Washington.

“The prevailing wisdom has been that a conservative administration would be less receptive, but I think legalization is now inevitable on its own kinetic energy,” said Sturges Karban, chief executive officer of cannabis logistics company ManifestSeven. While federal legalization was a political “third rail” as recently as 2016, he said, it now looks as though 2021 will be a turning point for the industry.

Pot pundits have long said national legalization will gain ground only when Republican senators have a reason to bring up the issue. After Nov. 3, that could happen, with more of their constituents supporting the measure. Three of the four states voting on recreational use are red ones: Arizona, Montana and South Dakota. New Jersey, which swings liberal, is also considering adult-use legalization. Medical use is on the ballot in conservative Mississippi and South Dakota. [Read more at The Oregonian]