With the results of the 2020 presidential election still pending, one early revelation from election season is that Americans want to rewrite the narrative around marijuana.
In several states, voters elected to decriminalize or legalize weed and other recreational narcotics. According to Vox, voters in Arizona, Montana and South Dakota rallied to legalize marijuana for recreational use. While in Mississippi and South Dakota, people rushed the polls to legalize medical marijuana.
Earlier this week, SZA tweeted that she’ll stop voting if her home state of New Jersey didn’t elect to legalize weed.
Now if they don’t legalize marijuana in jersey yalll can kiss my ass and I’m never voting again .
— SZA (@sza) November 3, 2020
She also encouraged fans to use their civic power even if they share her skepticism toward the political system.
“Listen . I voted by mail a few days ago . I ain’t got no sticker and I ain’t got no plan,” she wrote. “Dont even know if it matters . jus wanted to at LEAST BE ABLE TO SAY I DIDNT GIVE MY CHOICE AWAY FOR FREE. Do whatever’s in your heart . God bless ❤️.”
Listen . I voted by mail a few days ago . I ain’t got no sticker and I ain’t got no plan . Dont even know if it matters . jus wanted to at LEAST BE ABLE TO SAY I DIDNT GIVE MY CHOICE AWAY FOR FREE. Do whatever’s in your heart . God bless ❤️
— SZA (@sza) November 3, 2020
In spite of the “Garden” singer’s concern, voters in New Jersey approved a weed ballot measure that could bring nearly 43,000 jobs to the area with the legalization status, according to NBC Philadelphia.
Director Kevin Smith, travel writer Rick Steves, and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy are all proud New Jersey residents who also advocated in support of marijuana legalization, according to The Growth Op. Earlier this summer, Murphy said legalization was the smart thing to do and should happen "sooner than later."
“The overwhelming percentage of persons nailed in our criminal justice system are persons of colour. It’s a no-brainer in that respect,” he said. “It’s a job creator, it’s a tax revenue raiser, it checks a lot of boxes. I hope we’ll get there sooner than later.”
Even though SZA went to sleep not knowing who would become the next president, the 29-year-old songstress expressed that she felt content with some of the night's other victories.
I won Gn https://t.co/oureRZksK9
— SZA (@sza) November 4, 2020
According to The New York Post, people in New Jersey made the phrase “how to roll a joint” spike to a 2,800% increase on Google’s search engine. But experts told NBC that a decriminalization bill would need to be agreed upon before locals are no longer arrested for possession of the drug.
Also as a result of Tuesday’s elections, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize all drugs, CBS News reports. Voters also legalized the use of psilocybin, the psychedelic compound found in the narcotic commonly referred to as magic mushrooms, for therapeutic sessions.
"Today's victory is a landmark declaration that the time has come to stop criminalizing people for drug use," Kassandra Frederique, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said.
In Oregon, people in possession of small amounts of any drugs, even those once considered hard drugs like cocaine and heroin, will no longer receive jail time. People found in Oregon with drugs will get a choice to pay a $100 fine or complete a health assessment at an addiction support center, according to Vox.
Although the state already voted to legalize marijuana, Oregon approved a measure that will move tax revenue from weed to addiction treatment initiatives, which could add at least $100 million in additional substance abuse funding.