The Next 5 States Poised to Legalize Marijuana
The topic of whether or not the country should legalize marijuana is a heated topic, because people typically either view marijuana as something terrible or something good, with not much middle ground in between.
It’s unfortunate that there is still such a strong stigma attached to marijuana. It has been shown to offer many great benefits to users, especially medicinally, and it is arguably safer than some of the other substances that are legalized for use in the U.S.
However, time changes all things, and many people have begun to change their views on legalized recreational use of marijuana. There are currently seven states, and D.C., that allow for the recreational use of marijuana, and more continue to form legislation to do the same. So which ones are next? You might find that some states can surprise you.
Because of the political nature of this issue, states that legalize marijuana typically lean more towards the left, which means that the current states that approve recreational use are all in the north and western parts of the county. As such, Connecticut is poised to legalize, and has already begun the steps to get there.
This past June, the House of Representatives debated the topic for more than 90 minutes, and while they ultimately didn’t pass any legislation, the debate was more important than most citizens realized. The financial aspect of legal marijuana is now in the minds of the representatives that debated, so the topic will likely come up again when it’s time to renegotiate the budget.
One of the northern states expected to legalize is Delaware, although locals have been surprisingly against the use of weed. The medicinal marijuana community specifically has concerns about the health effects of weed, but the topic is still up for debate. With the upcoming 2018 election, the issue is coming up once again in the minds of Delaware’s citizens, so legalization is still possible, just not until late 2018 or early 2019.
Vermont has become known in the last year because of the news coverage its former governor got when he ran in the 2016 presidential election, so it’s an easy one to pin as being a future state to legalize weed. Contrary to this believe, Vermont actually voted on legalization and the current governor vetoed the legislation. There’s still hope though: he only vetoed to ensure changes to the bill, not because he was opposed to the idea of legalization. The topic will come to vote once again in the future.
As recently as May, there was a large march in Arizona to raise awareness about just how many locals wanted a bill to pass that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana. There was also a petition going around to ensure the creation of a future bill, with the tax money from legal marijuana going towards education. With this push, a bill might just come to pass.
Activists in Michigan are looking to put marijuana on the ballot 2018. A finished petition got turned into the state early this summer, and residents aren’t going to let it be forgotten. They view current law about weed much like the prohibition of alcohol in the early 1900s, and think the state would be better off accepting this new change. They’ll have to wait until November to see if their representatives agree.
What About Medicinal Use?
People who support legalization have personal reasons for wanting change, but the most popular reason besides recreational use is medicinal use. As of 2017, there are 26 states who approve the medicinal use of marijuana, whether they’ve legalized it recreationally or not. This is because it helps in ways like decreasing anxiety, relieving pain and minimizing the frequency of epileptic seizures.
So why do more states not let people have access to something that can help them? Change comes slowly, but it’s looking like the states of Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri could be next. With so many states already seeing positive change because sick people can access marijuana to receive help, it won’t be long before more fall in line, thereby extinguishing the stigma around the drug itself.
Sometimes a political topic can be talked about for decades without any real change or progress for the nation as a whole. Marijuana, however, has proven that change is happening and will continue in the future. The first states to legalize it recreationally shocked the nation, but now it can be expected that more will follow suit.
If your state hasn’t already made change, take some time to look up any future legislation that might be debated. The key to all of these states having already taken a step forward is that people spoke up and informed their representatives of their opinions. Do the same in your home state and see change unfold before your eyes.