For the last few years, the legalization of cannabis has been a hot topic in the United States. Some people encourage the recreational use of marijuana, stating that it is safer than alcohol. Some advocate the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes and believe that marijuana has medicinal properties that can help with everything from relieving pain to insomnia. Some people are vehemently oppose the legalization of cannabis. However you feel about the legalization of cannabis I believe that it is only a matter of time before it is legal everywhere.
First let’s focus on the people who oppose the legalization. Everyone has the right to have an opinion, even if what they believe is the opposite of what you believe. As everyone should know I support the legalization for a ton of reasons. I believe legalization will lead to tens of thousands of good jobs as well as improving the civil liberties of everyone. People who oppose it sometimes believe that cannabis is a gateway to harder drugs like heroin and cocaine. Personally I don’t believe in this line of thinking, there are plenty of people who live in legal states that enjoy using cannabis that have never tried hard drugs like heroin and cocaine. No matter which side you support, the fact remains that most American states are taking action to legalize the use of cannabis.
As of 2019, 33 states in the U.S have legalized medical marijuana. Whereas, recreational cannabis is only legal in ten states. Additionally, 13 states have decriminalized the use of recreational marijuana. The difference in being charged in a state where it has been decriminalized vs where it is still illegal is HUGE. Many supporters of legalization want it to federally legalized however small state to state victories are still meaningful and should be recognized as such.
There are hundreds of different legal action groups that support the legalization of cannabis over the country. If you really want to get involved I would suggest calling one of these groups and seeing if you can work for them. If you are planning to donate your money or time to one of these groups you should do your research. Some of these groups are much more legitimate than others. When supporting charities or legal action groups it is important to do research on the group to see how this group decides to spend its resources. Looking at the support that cannabis is receiving, it is only a matter of time when the next state will legalize it. Now, you cannot help but wonder which American state will be the next to legalize the use of cannabis.
As per a report shared by Forbes, many states will likely step forward to legalize marijuana. Earlier in 2019, the governor of Connecticut, Ned Lamont, pledged to make cannabis legal. However this has been said before by lawmakers who have not been able to deliver on their promises. Even if the lawmakers really works towards it can always be stopped by a few lawmakers who really oppose it. Also, Minnesota’s Governor, Tim Walz, vocalized his support for cannabis — tax revenue and job creation are amongst a few reasons why he backs Cannabis legalization. States that have legalized it are generating tons of money to support other parts of the state that really need revenue.
J.B. Pritzker, the governor of Illinois, supported cannabis legalization throughout his campaign. And when he was elected, he reaffirmed to make this a reality. I don’t know much about J.B Pritzker but I like the fact that he was able to deliver on this promise. Below is an image of Governor Pritzker.
Two-fifths of the U.S. will Legalize Recreational Cannabis by 2024.
The United States is leading amongst the top countries in the world that are responsible for about a third and a half of global cannabis in over 5 to 10 years. According to the State of Legal Cannabis Markets report, by 2020, medical marijuana is expected to be legal in all the states of the U.S, and around 20 states will approve sales of recreational cannabis. Here is a list of the 20 states that are on there way to legalize adult use of marijuana by 2024.
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- New Jersey (I live here so they better)
Out of the 20 states mentioned above, 11 states have already legalized the recreational use and sale of cannabis. The state of Illinois is all prepared to begin selling legal weed, with Vermont and Michigan not far behind. In the meantime, nine states, including Rhode Island, Arizona, New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio, Connecticut, New York, Maryland, and New York, are expected to go green on a recreational basis anytime between 2019 and 2024.
The Next 12 States Trying to Legalize Marijuana by 2020
In spite of being the most lucrative market for cannabis in the world, the fact that cannabis is illegal on a federal level is troubling for businesses. If there was the will to destroy existing cannabis companies the United States Federal government would be well within its right to do so. Public support of the legalization of marijuana makes it political suicide to push for the federal government to crack down on it. This is why public support is so important. If there was no public support there would be no pushback against lawmakers if they did decide to do a big federal crackdown.
However, over the past 23 years, nothing has stopped individual states in America from legalizing cannabis to some extent. Starting from California in 1996, now around 33 states have legalized the use of medical marijuana. Amongst these states, eleven have passed the legislation, allowing the sale of recreational cannabis and legal consumption. And this is just the beginning…
Currently, twelve states in the United States are trying to legalize the use of marijuana by 2020. 2020 is a very important voting year, if you support the legalization of cannabis then you should read up on the people running for office in your voting district and you should vote.
Arizona is one of 33 states that have legalized the medical use of marijuana. The Grand Canyon State attempted to legalize recreational marijuana back in 2019, but they failed as the voters narrowly disapproved of the measure. Now again, in 2020, Arizona will make a second attempt at legalization pass. If the recreational marijuana bill is passed in Arizona, it will allow the purchase and consumption of marijuana by anyone aged 18 years and above. Additionally, the tax collected on legal marijuana will be used to fund schools and support the finances of state healthcare programs. Similar to the recreational cannabis bill in Illinois, the Arizona bill would also offer help to people who were earlier convicted of marijuana offenses.
Missouri is another state that has proposed the legalization of recreational cannabis. Presently, the Expungement Initiative and Missouri Marijuana Legalization are in the signature-gathering phase. Once approved, the growth, use, and selling of cannabis will be allowed at the commercial level. Also, the bill will discard past non-violent marijuana offenses. Not only that, but it would also stop the taxation of medical marijuana recommended by physicians. Since medical marijuana was legalized in Missouri and products became available in dispensaries only a few months ago, Missourians may face complications to legalize recreational cannabis by 2020.
Arkansas has also legalized the use of medical cannabis. As of today, two ballot initiatives have been proposed to legalize recreational marijuana in the state. Both Arkansas Recreational Marijuana and Arkansas Marijuana Legalization Initiatives would legalize the adult-use of weed for those aged 21 and above. Whether these initiatives could gather enough signatures in 2020 still remains to be seen. As opposed to Arizona, Arkansas has a long shot at legalizing recreational marijuana. Despite the fact that the adult-use of weed is gaining national support, it took Arkansas over two years to get medical marijuana approved in late 2016. The state of Arizona leans mostly towards Republican lawmakers, who do not support the legalization of cannabis, thus, making it a long shot.
Just like Arkansas, Florida has initiated several constitutional amendments to either legalize recreational marijuana or amend the medical marijuana program in the state. These initiatives are currently in the signature collection stage. If the Florida Marijuana Legalization Initiative is successful, it will allow possession of up to 1 ounce of weed by the residents of Florida aged 21 years and above. Floridians will also be allowed to grow around six cannabis plants per household, with no more than three flowerings at a time. Additionally, these plants cannot be sold and need to be stored in a closed or locked space. All in all, the chances of one of the amendments being passed is pretty good — A survey showed that around 67% of Floridians support the legalization of recreational cannabis.
5. South Dakota
Who would have ever thought South Dakota would be a state leading the charge for legalized cannabis. As of now, South Dakota has not legalized any form of marijuana. However, the hemp and marijuana initiative is gathering signatures currently. If authorized, it would allow the possession, sale, use, and transport of recreational marijuana for the ages 21 and above. In addition, a 15% tax will be applicable to legalize cannabis sales, and the South Dakota’s Department of Revenue would be responsible for providing licenses for retail, cultivation, distribution, and taxing. Also, it is crucial to note that South Dakota has not yet passed the medical cannabis legislation, meaning that this initiative would also require the legislature of the state to set up laws for medical cannabis, along with passing the laws regarding the sale, cultivation, and processing of weed.
6. New Jersey
The Governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, promised to legalize recreational marijuana in the Garden State, but tried and failed to fulfill his promise. However, the lawmakers of the state could be ready to vote on the matter around November 2020 elections. Overall, similar to Arizona, New Jersey also has a pretty good chance to legalize recreational marijuana by 2020.
Currently, Idaho does not permit the legal use of marijuana. However, a petition was filed with the Secretary of State of Idaho to legalize medical cannabis by 2020. To get this initiative passed, supporters must gather 55,057 signatures from registered voters in Idaho by the 30th of April, 2020.
The legislature of the state of Nebraska has voted against the proposed bills to legalize medical marijuana three times. But, there is a huge possibility that in 2020, voters will decide this matter rather than legislators. Right now, work is in progress to collect enough signatures so that a proposal could be included on the 2020 ballot for the legal use and sale of medical marijuana.
You know that times are changing when one of the most historically conservative states in the deep south is thinking of legalizing medical marijuana. Now that an advocacy group has gathered the required number of signatures, Mississippi is ready to legalize the medical use of cannabis. While some of the state leaders are against the initiative, there are supporters who think there is a pretty good possibility of the initiative being passed in the coming year. Especially because this is just for the medical use of cannabis. They might have strict rules surrounding what medical condition allows the use of cannabis but it is a step in the right direction.
10. New York
For years, New York’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo, was one of the biggest obstacles to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. But, after the evaluation done by the state on legalizing marijuana, Cuomo changed his tune this year and said that he no longer opposes the move. It may take some time to initiate the process, but it won’t be too far in the future when New York legalizes the adult-use of cannabis. There is a race in the Tri-State area because of all the tax revenue on the line.
Connecticut is another state that recently elected a Democratic governor, Ned Lamont, who completely supports the use of recreational marijuana. As Democrats control the legislature in Connecticut, it might be the best chance for the residents of Connecticut to make a move. Most states surrounding Connecticut, including Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine, have legalized recreational cannabis, and the neighbor New York might legalize it as well.
Amongst all the other states in the United States, Wyoming has the most strict laws and is also known for having the highest marijuana arrests in the country. Although legalizing medical marijuana is still a dream to be achieved, the marijuana leaders in the state view the recent cannabis bill signed into law as a stepping-stone.
Wrapping Up The Post
The legal marijuana continues to grow in the United States. There was a time when the use of cannabis was considered a taboo and was consistently swept under the rug by legislators. Today, however, it has become a central issue, as well as a lucrative market for both companies and investors dealing in the cannabis industry.