This November, citizens of five states, not all known for liberal leanings, have managed to get voter initiated (wink, wink) measures on their ballots to let the people decide if marijuana should be legally available for recreational purposes within their borders. An actual vote of the people, rather than legislative initiatives, seems to be the preferred method for getting this particular controversial issue settled nationwide.
Several states actually started on this journey, and that of further pursuing medicinal pot, in the last year, but only five have managed to actually get ballot initiatives approved for people to actually be able to walk into a business establishment selling marijuana, and legally purchase it.
Those states are:
Each of those states faces a difference set of challenges to legalizing pot, not the least of which is conservative opposition from parts of the state not in the big cities. Business Insider lays out the specifics for each of the five as well as the chances of passage in each location. (The writers are fairly salivating over the prospect of California legalizing recreational pot as that would make the west coast a solid reefer zone.) That would bring the total number of states to allow doobie parties up to nine including Alaska, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and the District of Columbia.
What is interesting as the legalization of pot movement has progressed is that for half of the states, medical marijuana is legal. There is no more powerful drug for many side effects of treatment protocols for devastating disease. Some are willing to recognize that. Others are not, and most of the laws that still outlaw cannabis and its derivatives can be found in what we call deep red states. The medicinal use states tend to run blue, and of the states voting on recreational marijuana this fall, ALL of them allow pot for medicinal purposes.
In the last year, there have been reports that additional states including Hawaii, and Montana are considering expanding their legal pot laws to include recreational marijuana. Other states including Ohio and Missouri are considering medical legalizations. All of it depends on the experiences of other states as the movement spreads, and whether or not the voters can be persuaded.
More information found here.
By the way, reports from the field are that the tax revenues in Colorado and Washington are not stellar, and the legal stuff is more expensive and less potent than the illegal. How all that factors in is anyone’s guess.