Which states are next to legalize recreational marijuana is anybody’s guess, but there are some insights that might provide some clues. As an example, Arizona is well on its way to collecting the signatures it needs to have recreational marijuana added to the ballot for 2018. Vermont is already famous for its legislators passing cannabis friendly bills without needing residents’ votes, and they have been trying to push through a bill to legalize recreational use in Vermont.
Michigan’s medical marijuana rules are a mess, but they are working hard to figure it out and there seems to be a lot of advocacy for recreational marijuana. The show me state, Missouri, has seen enough to believe that cannabis should be legal. Have you checked on your state to see the status of recreational marijuana and how close it is to being legalized?
Every week there’s a new story about how well recreational marijuana legalization has helped states such as Colorado, Washington and Oregon. And now several other states, such as California, Nevada and Massachusetts, have jumped on the train to reap the benefits of legalization. As the trend continues of states generating success from cannabis, where could we see future expansion of recreational use? Here’s a list of 10 states most likely to pass recreational marijuana next.
10. New York
New York is one of the most liberal states in America. And yet, it continues to keep recreational marijuana illegal. Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has expressed concern about smoking marijuana. Smokeable and edible marijuana are not available in the state’s medical program. However, there remains strong support within the state to expand both the medical marijuana program and allow recreational use. Considering how powerful liberal voices are in the state, Cuomo may not be able to resist the legalization movement for long.
9. Rhode Island
Unlike many states that have legalized recreational marijuana, Rhode Island has no ballot initiative process where voters can pass laws through referendums. But, there have been several legislative attempts to legalize marijuana, and polls show that 59 percent of the state supports recreational use legalization.
Delaware has an unusual relationship with marijuana. Despite allowing medicinal use, the state only has one dispensary. But the 2016 gubernatorial race seemed to indicate a changing relationship with cannabis. The Republican candidate openly supported legalization, and the Democratic candidate and eventual victor says he wants to see how legalization affected more states. That may not be a ringing endorsement, but it’s definitely not a hard no to future legalization efforts.
Earlier this year, a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in Maryland failed to pass the state’s legislature. But this was still a positive sign for pro-marijuana groups in the state. The medical marijuana industry in the state hasn’t even begun to operate yet, and already there’s momentum for recreational legalization. If the rollout for medicinal cannabis is successful, that would only mean better chances for recreational use.
Connecticut’s had multiple attempts to legalize marijuana for recreational use, but so far nothing has come of it. But the support is present. The state is also facing budget problems, and if those become serious enough, marijuana legalization may result simply as a matter of fiscal responsibility.
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