Tuesday was a new high for marijuana legalization advocates.
Michigan voted to approve a ballot measure, making it the first state in the Midwest to approve recreational usage for adults, joining nine other states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, Missouri and Utah approved medicinal marijuana measures, becoming the 32nd and 33rd respective states to do so. North Dakota’s ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana failed, however.
Every single state that has legalized recreational marijuana has first legalized it in a medical capacity. In this sense, medical marijuana ballot measures can be seen as the “gateway” to recreational ones.
Alison Holcomb, the primary drafter of Washington State’s recreational marijuana initiative, tells TIME that’s for good reason.
“Politically, it makes a lot of sense for states to first work with marijuana in the medical context,” she said. “That gives people in the states time to get more comfortable with it.”