2018 is shaping up to be a big year for legalization in the United Sates. So far, Vermont legalized recreational weed, allowing residents to legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana starting this July. Meanwhile, Virginia lawmakers killed a decriminalization bill at the end of January.
With moves being made daily throughout the U.S., which states are due to pass a marijuana law this year?
1. New Jersey
New Jersey’s new governor, Phil Murphy, talked a lot about legalizing recreational THC while he was campaigning.
He hasn’t ended prohibition yet, but 2018 could be a big year for fans of cannabis in The Garden State.
Cannabis advocates in Ohio are working to get a bill on the ballot this year. After legalizing medical marijuana two years ago, the state has struggled to put together a viable measure to legalize recreational weed. But, maybe 2018?
Back in 2016, Oklahoma residents worked hard to get a medical marijuana bill on the ballot. Finally, the state will finally get to cast their votes in June.
4. Rhode Island
Rhode Island could become the newest Northeastern state to legalize weed if its commission to study the implications of legalization comes up with positive findings.
5. South Dakota
Advocates in South Dakota gathered signatures last year and submitted them to officials to put a bill to legalize medical marijuana on the 2018 ballot. We’ll see if it happens.
Utah’s conservative lawmakers have made it a difficult struggle, but things could change in 2018. The Utah House of Representatives has already approved a bill allowing for the controlled cultivation of cannabis.
Despite failing to make it happen last year, a majority of Connecticut residents support legalization and hope that this is its year.
Delaware created a task force to study the impact of legalizing recreational cannabis and to show how seriously they’re taking this.
In 2017, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner made clear that he opposes legalization. Despite this, a judge there kicked off 2018 by expanding the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana. Don’t give up on Illinois; they could pass a marijuana law this year.
In January, Republican Senator Dan Seum introduced to the Kentucky Senate a bill calling for the legalization of recreational weed.
Michigan is rife with widespread support for recreational weed. Fifty-seven percent of all adults in the state wants to legalize recreational cannabis. And there are 360,000 signatures on a petition (that requires far less) to get legalization on the ballot in 2018.
A leading activist group in the Show Me state has gathered around 100,000 signatures on a petition (that requires 170,000 signatures) to legalize medical weed.
Alana seeks to see cannabis from the perspective of politicians, advocates, entrepreneurs, and consumers. She got her start with a byline in the arts and culture section and crossed over into cannabis after using it medicinally. Current projects include investigations into cannabis and wellness; entrepreneurs of the Green Rush; cannabis for athletes; and the evolution of cannabis laws and culture in Canada.