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Voters Approve Recreational Marijuana In Some States and Reject In Others

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MIXED RESULTS - Recreational Marijuana was on the ballot in a few states for the mid-term election and results are mixed as to where it was approved and where it wasn’t. Voters approved recreational marijuana in Maryland and Missouri but rejected it in two other states, signaling support gradually growing for legalization even in conservative parts of the country. Arkansas and North Dakota voters rejected legalization proposals in Tuesday's elections. A similar initiative went before voters in South Dakota, but early Wednesday it was too early to call.

The five states that held votes on Tuesday have legal medical marijuana programs. That includes Arkansas, which in 2016 became the first Bible Belt state to approve medical marijuana. The state's dispensaries opened in 2019, and more than 91,000 patients have cannabis cards to legally buy marijuana for approved medical conditions.

Tuesday’s election results mean that 21 states have now approved marijuana's recreational use. Advocates said the results send a message to lawmakers in Washington about support around the country for legalization. The state voting follows moves by President Joe Biden toward decriminalizing marijuana. Biden last month announced he was pardoning thousands of Americans convicted of simple possession of marijuana under federal law.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.