New Jersey and Arizona legalized recreational marijuana use; South Dakota and Mississippi approved medical marijuana.

Fortune reported that Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota are braced to become the latest states to legalize the recreational use of cannabis, with voters in South Dakota and Mississippi also set to approve ballot initiatives permitting medical marijuana use, meaning that now one in three Americans live in a state where adults can legally buy pot.

Despite the continued prohibition of cannabis and derived products by the federal government, more states have pushed to legalize marijuana in recent years—driven by evolving public attitudes and a desire to regulate the massive black market that exists for the drug. Those efforts have seen booming, lucrative cannabis industries emerge in states like California and Colorado, with hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues flowing into state coffers as a result.

Aside from that, Oregon decided to decriminalize the use of all drugs (including heroin and cocaine). The law, NowThisNews adds, is the first of its kind in the U.S. Proponents of the law say they hope the new measure will help get people the treatment they need, rather than feed into the criminal legal system. The law will also apply to people currently serving sentences for drug possession. Local criminal justice reform advocates say it will likely lead to a 91% decrease in drug possession arrests.⁠

Biz-related ballot measures, per Morning Brew

Gig economy: Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash’s hugely expensive Prop 22 passed in California. The ballot measure directly challenged a recent state law that required these companies to classify their drivers as employees, not independent contractors. Uber and Lyft had warned earlier this year they could suspend their services in CA over the law.

Real estate: Let’s go back to California for this one. Prop 15, which would lift longtime tax protections for commercial property owners, is trailing as of early this morning. The current system puts a tight cap on property tax increases even if the value of the property rises disproportionately.

Work: Floridians voted to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2026 and Colorado will establish a progressive family and medical leave program.

2020-11-20T18:39:49+00:00

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