The midterm elections could loosen marijuana restrictions in the United States, as four states put ballot initiatives on legalization to a vote.
Voters in Utah and Missouri will choose whether patients should gain access to medical marijuana.
In Michigan and North Dakota, where medical marijuana is already legal, residents will decide whether to allow it for recreational use. If so, they would join nine U.S. states, Washington, D.C., Canada and Uruguay in launching a regulated recreational marijuana market.
Another 22 American states have adopted comprehensive medical marijuana programs since 1996, when California became the first to recognize the medicinal uses of marijuana in easing the symptoms of serious illnesses like HIV, cancer, epilepsy, PTSD and glaucoma. Recently, marijuana’s potential value for treating chronic pain has garnered attention as an alternative to opioids.