As an election issue competing against the immediacy of a global pandemic, an economic crisis, and a renegade in the White House, the legalization of marijuana was always likely to be something of a slow burn.
Yet as it turned out, voters were more enthused about that than almost any other issue in states where drugs were on the ballot. They delivered a unanimous mandate for recreational marijuana use in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota, and approved its use for medicinal purposes in Mississippi and South Dakota.
With only 15 states still outlawing marijuana in any form, some experts believe the campaign to advance formal policy and promote acceptance of a drug once widely abhorred by the public has reached a tipping point.
It also reflects a repudiation of the harsher elements of America’s decades-long War on Drugs, pioneered by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, which saw escalating numbers of mostly Black young…