After 2016’s flurry of marijuana legalization across America, the 2017 calendar year didn’t see a single state decriminalize or legalize cannabis for medical or recreational use. This is mostly due to the legislative and elections cycles. There wasn’t anything unique to 2017 or any major backlash against legalization that stopped it from happening, in fact, it was quite the opposite.
In 2018, there are 7 (7.5?) states in America which are poised to legalize cannabis for either recreational or medical use. Tom Angell at Forbes has a detailed breakdown of why each of those states is likely to pass legislation that will legalize marijuana. But here’s a look at the states which are set to legalize along with a quick blurb of why.
Vermont — This legislation is set to pass on January 3rd. The Senate has already passed the bill. The Governor has said he will sign the bill. Andlnly one more House vote is needed on January 3, 2018, to legalize marijuana for recreational use. What’s interesting is the state of Vermont won’t rush to set up dispensaries. Instead, people will be allowed to grow small amounts at home and legally carry small amounts in public.
New Jersey — The new Democratic Governor ran on a platform of legalization and has said he’ll push to legalize marijuana within his first 100 days in office. What’s interesting about this is how former NJ Governor Chris Christie’s laughable failed presidential bid was based on repealing marijuana legalization across America. A completely tone-deaf platform to run on in 2017.
Michigan — Legalization will be on the November ballot in Michigan and 58% of voters polled say they want to end prohibition versus 36% in favor of keeping it illegal. This should pass.
Oklahoma — There are already enough signatures to get medical marijuana on the November ballot on Oklahoma. According to Forbes, a 2013 poll found that 71% of Oklahoma voters were in favor of legalization. A LOT has changed politically since then so it’ll be interesting to see if that number remains the same.
UTAH — Medical marijuana is set to be approved but only for extreme conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, and more.
Missouri — According to Forbes, there are THREE different medical marijuana ballot measures which could be voted on in 2018. This seems extreme. But it’s also likely that at least one of those measures is going to pass.
Virginia — This isn’t going to be a full or medical legalization, but it’s likely that Virginia will see decriminalization under the new Democratic Governor Ralph Northman who made decriminalization a cornerstone of his campaign platform.
There are a few other possibilities, as noted on Forbes. There’s the potential for some legalization in Ohio. To read all about that you can click here.