Growing Calls to Erase Cannabis Crimes as Legalization Spreads Across U.S.

Sarah Gersten of the Last Prisoner Project joins Scarlet Fu to discuss the passing of cannabis legalization five states and how voters who backed the initiatives for the tax benefits and the promise of new jobs are increasingly supporting changes to the law around past marijuana crimes.

Leaders across the industry cheered after marijuana measures passed in all five states that had them on the ballot on Election Day — even in deeply red parts of the country. The results showed how marijuana is becoming less of a partisan issue, and buoyed the biggest U.S.-based players in the market.

“Cannabis won, and won big,” said Boris Jordan, chairman of Curaleaf Holdings Inc., one of the largest cannabis companies. “It’s a green landslide.”

The latest results make recreational marijuana legal in 15 states and approved for medical purposes nearly nationwide, pushing the once-taboo topic of legalization firmly into the U.S. mainstream. Voter support in New Jersey passed by a wide margin, while Mississippi voted for the more liberal of two options to legalize medical use. South Dakota was also the first state to vote in recreational and medical use at the same time.

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