If you are living in either New Jersey, Vermont, or Rhode Island, it may be time to celebrate because these three states are the most likely to legalize recreational cannabis next year. An interesting piece in Marijuana Business Daily explores the likelihood that certain states would legalize cannabis next year through legislative means. By legislative, we mean of course that legalization would come via lawmakers rather than through a ballot initiative.
So far, none of the 8 states that have legalized recreational cannabis have done so via legislation. This is expected to change, according to executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project Rob Kampia and Bill Piper director of national affairs for Drug Policy Alliance. “I feel pretty bullish overall,” Piper said to MJ Biz Daily. “(Legalization efforts are) being driven by strong demand from the public, and all the work that activists – including business owners – are doing at the local level is having an impact.” Many of these legislators are up for reelection and if they hope to keep their seats, it would probably be wise for them to do what their constituents want. It would be in the best interest of their careers to legalize recreational cannabis.
New Jersey is likely to be next because current governor and canna-hater Chris Christie is leaving office this January. His likely replacement, Democratic candidate Phil Murphy has said that he will legalize recreational cannabis. There is in fact, already a bill in the works. Vermont and Rhode Island have the most Democratic state legislatures, hence why Kampia and Piper say they are probably next.
The pair also have predictions for the next states to legalize medicinal cannabis. They think that Louisiana will be the main one. Interestingly enough, medicinal cannabis is legal in the state, but there are no protections for people who grow or sell cannabis, so it’s pretty much illegal. Louisiana will have to pass some sort of law promising protections for those people, or their medical cannabis program will never get off the ground. Piper and Kampia also think that Iowa, which allows CBD is going to legalize medical cannabis once they realize their CBD law is pretty much useless. “I think they’re going to find out pretty soon that it doesn’t really do what they thought it would do,” Piper said.
It looks like legalization is going to be one of the hot button issues for next year’s midterms. Keep putting the pressure on your elected officials! It’s working!
Source: Marijuana Business Daily
Image Source: killingthebreeze.com
Do you live in one of these states? Do you think they will legalize recreational cannabis? Share in the comments!