With the victories in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. still fresh in our memories, we’re looking toward the future and will be watching a few states in particular very closely to see which are slated to join the full legalization club. Keep an eye on our interactive State of the Leaf map for updates; in the meantime, here’s our list of states we believe could be most likely to push for recreational marijuana next:
Republican Representative Ethan Orr has announced plans for a new proposal to fully legalize recreational cannabis in the state for adults over the age of 21 and, hopefully, bringing in millions of dollars in additional revenue for Arizona (à la Colorado and their glorious cannabis cash rebate).
California has a booming medical market (albeit only a semi-legal one), but advocates have been extremely vocal about the possibility of a 2016 recreational legalization bid and they’ve already begun fund-raising. The biggest obstacle at the moment is the current lack of regulations which could impede implementation of a recreational bid.
South Portland just voted to legalize recreational cannabis in 2014, joining Portland as a “test community” for recreational cannabis. Clearly, recreational legalization is never far from the thoughts of Maine marijuana advocates and they have already begun collecting signatures for 2016. With their successful legalization on a small-scale, Maine is a prime candidate to legalize statewide
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Massachusetts has already been formed in support of an anticipatory 2016 recreational marijuana bid. However, in light of their poor, heavily delayed implementation of medical marijuana, we won’t be holding our breath for this one.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Nevada has already begun selectively advertising, with support from former senator and attorney Richard Segerblom, in the hopes that it will be a huge boom to the tourism industry, which directly affects Nevada’s economy.
Wyoming surprised us! Advocates have already submitted the Wyoming Marijuana Legalization Initiative for consideration to appear on the November 8, 2016 ballot. If passed, the initiative would legalize recreational cannabis for adults 21 and over and legalize medical marijuana for anyone with physician and/or guardian approval. Wyoming is a notoriously conservative state, but, then again, so is Alaska, and look what happened there…
Delaware, Rhode Island, and New Mexico have all introduced legislation to legalize recreational cannabis in recent years and all failed by only a slim margin. However, now that the legalization movement is gaining traction and going mainstream, any future efforts would be much more likely to succeed and we’re going to be keeping an eye on them (as well as these countries that could be the next to fully legalize cannabis). You should, too!
Time for you to sound off! Which of these states do you think will be next to legalize recreational cannabis, or do you think a state not on this list is on deck?