Election 2020 Marijuana Legislation: What you need to know

The differences between legalization, decriminalization, and medical marijuana


As we mentioned in our last post, cannabis won big on election night, with five states (Arizona, New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana and Mississippi) passing measures to legalize some form of marijuana use. It was a big wake up call to lawmakers, who are now seeing the broad consensus across parties and demographics to reform and rewrite drug policy. 

I Voted 2020


But it’s not as simple as legal or illegal, so don’t go busting out your cannabis-loaded dab vape pen at the grocery store just yet. As a controlled substance, every state has its own unique flavor of legalization and variation in how much cannabis someone can legally possess and whether or not it can be sold. But there are generally three broad categories of marijuana reform that we’ll define here.

  • Marijuana legalization. This distinction generally removes government-enforced penalties for both possessing and using marijuana, and sets the stage for legal sales and growing operations. 
  • Decriminalization. This distinction eliminates prison time for possession and instead treats a minor marijuana offense like a traffic violation, typically resulting in a fine. In some cases these states will still pursue jail time for selling or possessing larger amounts of marijuana, or bringing it across state lines.
  • Medical. This legalization distinction allows doctors to recommend marijuana for a variety of conditions, from chronic pain to anxiety. In some states, the medical legalization of marijuana has been so broad that in actuality, it seems more like legalization than the decriminalization distinction does. 

  • What does this mean for dabbing?

    In general, this is all good news for those who love the concentrated form of cannabis and many beneficial qualities of cannabinoids without the potential harm from consuming it via smoking (for more on the benefits of using a dab nail or dab rig to consume concentrates, check out this post). However, it’s best to read up on your state-specific regulations before vaping in public. Some states measure dabs differently than leaf, as it's a much more concentrated substance. 


    TLDR: This is all great news for the colony, and any kind of move forward when it come to drug policy reform gets our vote. We’re committed to continue this process and will keep our hive updated with more good news as it comes in.