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An election worker sorts submitted ballots. Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images

Voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana use in several states, and Oregon decriminalized the possession of street drugs.

The big picture: New Jersey, Arizona, Montana and South Dakota will join the 11 states and D.C. that have already legalized cannabis for adult recreational use.

Why it matters: Legalization in additional states could be a big opportunity for the marijuana industry, and new tax revenue from potential sales could help states and cities balance budgets hit hard from the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Oregon legalized psychedelic mushrooms, and they were decriminalized in D.C.
  • Mississippi legalized marijuana for medical use, joining 33 states.

In addition, Oregon voters on Tuesday passed a measure to decriminalize the possession of street drugs and will no longer arrest or sentence those carrying small amounts of drugs like cocaine, heroin, oxycodone and methamphetamine.

  • The ballot Measure 110 will also direct millions of dollars in tax revenue for addiction treatment facilities and a state-supervised fund that will pay for drug programs, treatment and housing.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Nov 12, 2020 - Economy & Business

The stock market's ADHD

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

There might be times when stock market moves make sense, but this is not one of those times.

Why it matters: High and volatile stock prices, while mostly harmless, reflect the febrile zeitgeist more than they do fundamental valuations.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
27 mins ago - Economy & Business

New deals in the COVID economy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

COVID-19 is the macro horror of our lifetimes, and has destroyed or severely damaged countless businesses. But, like with most horribles, it also has created some opportunities.

Driving the news: Merck this morning announced an agreement to buy OncoImmune, a Maryland-based biotech that showed promising late-stage clinical results for a therapy that treats severe and critical coronavirus cases.

1 hour ago - Technology

Biden's openings for tech progress

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images 

Item No. 1 on President-elect Joe Biden's day-one tech agenda, controlling the flood of misinformation online, offers no fast fixes — but other tech issues facing the new administration hold out opportunities for quick action and concrete progress.

What to watch: Closing the digital divide will be a high priority, as the pandemic has exposed how many Americans still lack reliable in-home internet connections and the devices needed to work and learn remotely.