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In Ballot Measures, Pot Legalization Makes Strides

The legalization of marijuana continued to expand as several states voted to legalize recreational and medical marijuana.

By a wide margin, California and Massachusetts voted to legalize recreational pot on Tuesday. Arkansas, North Dakota and Florida voted to legalize medical marijuana.

It's still too early to tell which way ballot initiatives in Arizona, Maine, Montana and Nevada will go. But the trend is positive for those in favor of legalizing marijuana and it's also part of a larger trend across the country.

As we've reported, polls have repeatedly shown that more and more Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana. A recent Gallup poll, for example, found that 60 percent of Americans support legalizing pot. That is the highest level recorded in 50 years.

According to Governing's count, 25 states and the District of Columbia had already passed laws legalizing marijuana in some form. Four states and the District had legalized recreational use of the drug.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.