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Recreational marijuana on the ballot in 5 states, 4 of them GOP strongholds

Recreational marijuana could soon be legal in five new states after voters head to the polls in Tuesday's midterms. 

Proposals to legalize recreational marijuana are on the ballot in Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The substance is already legal in 19 states plus Washington, D.C., and these five states could become the next to decriminalize recreational marijuana if voters pass the legislation. 

Notably, four out of the five states with recreational marijuana on the ballot are conservative strongholds. The Associated Press noted that Maryland was the only state out of the five to not vote for former President Donald Trump in 2020.

However, with attitudes about recreational marijuana continuing to shift, it is possible that more GOP-led states could follow suit with similar propositions.

Arkansas already became the first state in the Deep South to legalize medical marijuana in 2016, and could now become the first Bible Belt locale to legalize it recreationally. If passed, the measure would allow adults to buy one ounce of marijuana from a licensed retailer, CNBC reported.

Meanwhile, the lone Democratic stronghold of the group, Maryland, is looking to join its surrounding neighbors, Virginia and the District of Columbia, in legalizing recreational marijuana. Their proposal would allow adults to purchase slightly more product, 1.5 ounces, from a licensed retailer. 

The push for marijuana legislation comes shortly after President Biden announced he would pardon those convicted on federal charges of simple marijuana possession, and urged state and local governments across the country to do the same.