States that may push for Cannabis Legalization

Nine states – Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington – have legalized the adult use and possession of marijuana. In the next few months, some of all of these new states will likely to be joining them.

This November, voters will decide the fate of the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act. If this act is passed, this will permit those over the age of 21 to grow and possess personal use quantities of cannabis and related concentrates, while also licensing activities related to commercial marijuana production and retail marijuana sales.

According to statewide polling data composed this past spring, 61% of Michigan voters intend to vote “yes” on the ballot measure. If it passes this act, Michigan would become the 8th U.S. state to approve adult use legalization via voter initiative.

In New Jersey, Democrat Governor Phil Murphy campaigned on a promise to legalize marijuana use and sales in the state. In a pledge he reiterated in his 2019 budget address when he stated “The only sensible option is the careful legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana sales to adult.”

Most recently however, the state Attorney General called for a temporary suspension on civil marijuana prosecutions, and members of the Senate are expected to begin legalization legislation in the next few weeks.

Supporters of a statewide ballot initiative to legalize the adult use of marijuana in North Dakota recently handed in over 19,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office in an effort to place a measure before voters this November. State officials must certify 70.8% of those signatures in order to qualify the measure for the 2018 electoral ballot.

This ballot proposal looked to legalize the possession, use, and sale of marijuana, as well as the possession of marijuana equipment, by those over the age of 21. This also removes past marijuana convictions.

Returning legislative efforts to improve New York’s marijuana laws got a huge boost this month when a state-commissioned study issued by the New York Department of Health called for its legalization.

The 74-page study, titled “Assessment of the Potential IMpact of Regulated Marijuana in New York State” acknowledges that legalizing marijuana will create jobs, reduce criminalization of the plant, reduce the use of opioids and synthetic cannabinoids and will likely “generate long-term cost savings.”

61% of Delaware voters and a majority of state representatives believe that marijuana should be legal for those over the age of 21. In June, a majority of House lawmakers voted in approval of legislation to legalize marijuana use and retail sales. However, because the legislation brought on new taxes and fees, state rules required it to receive a lot of support.

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