Marijuana legalization is a trend that appears to fascinate many an American. There is no other way to explain the fact that marijuana became the winner of the midterm elections. Several states, including Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio, approved initiatives aimed at decriminalization of cannabis. Now that there are so many states in which the use of marijuana is supported by the majority of citizens, it is only a matter of time until the others follow them.
The year of 2019 is likely to see one of the most successful cannabis legalization campaigns, as many proponents of legalization won the elections – and so did marijuana. Below you will find a list of states that are most likely to reform their cannabis policies and lift ban on it.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced that cannabis legalization is one of his priorities. According to him, the time has come to legalize cannabis. However, it is not the only factor that is expected to play a role: there are hardly any people in the Legislature who are opposed to the move. Even those few who do not approve of it are quite sure the bill would pass.
Gov. J. Pritzker’s campaign has legalization of marijuana as one of its primary goals. He promised he would do his best to make it come true, and there are many reasons for it: not only do the citizens support decriminalization of cannabis, but this bill, if passed, is expected to yield a lot of economic benefits, including $505 mln state taxes collected and around 23,600 jobs created. These benefits should be adjusted for extra health care expenses, though.
Here another pro-legalization governor, who has recently been elected, is about to take the legalization campaign to the next level. Gov. Tim Walz emphasized that this bill can result in more jobs and revenue, as well as protect children and let adults exercise their freedom to use such drugs. Although he and his allies are still outnumbered by one seat by Republicans, the bill is likely to be passed soon.
Despite the governor’s opposition to marijuana legislation, New Hampshire has made it to our list of marijuana-friendly states and is likely to become one in the foreseeable future. The reason is that the midterm elections resulted in Democrats controlling both chambers, so there are now enough pro-legalization lawmakers to override Governor Sununu’s veto. Interestingly enough, Steve Shurtleff, who announced the possible change, used to be opposed to the use of cannabis, but today preferences are shifting fast.
It appears that it is only a matter of time until Gov. Phil Murphy and the legislative leaders finally come to an agreement and decide on some points of the future cannabis policy. They have been working on it since 2017, and their negotiations have recently led to the approval of the move, which means they are close to having the bill ready.
Gov. M.L. Grisham is the one who, as cannabis proponents hope, will work hard to make marijuana legal in New Mexico. She believes that the industry can bring hundreds of millions of dollars to the state. Not everyone supports it, but even those who do not want it to happen admit that it is likely to be passed soon due to the current political reality.
In New York, virtually everyone, from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to his opponents, have spoken in favor of legalization. Even the Health Department was involved: according to their study, which was requested by the governor, the potential positive effects outweigh the negative ones.
In Rhode Island, the majority of those who were reluctant about legalizing cannabis have now changed their tune and do not rule out the possibility of making marijuana legal soon.
Despite the fact that Vermont is one of the places where home cultivation of cannabis (in small amounts, of course) is not considered a crime, recreational use of it remains prohibited. It is difficult to predict whether the governor would veto a broader bill and whether there will be enough supporting lawmakers to override it, but it is likely that Vermont will become a yet another cannabis-friendly state in 2019.
There are other states in which lawmakers are turning into cannabis use advocates fast, so the list is not comprehensive. Time will tell.