Marijuana Legalization is a big talking point in America. This conversation will take on a different meaning depending on which state you are in. On the side of the spectrum, there are those living in states with legal access to medicinal and recreational marijuana.
On the other, there are those in states where marijuana use is still a criminal act. In the middle, shifts are occurring as states reconsider their views and their laws. The tide is turning on the issue of marijuana decriminalization. For some, this could only mean an overdue measure on legalized marijuana for medical use. For others, it could go much further.
Oregon, Washington, And Colorado Make The Biggest Headlines, But This Could All Change.
When we talk about legalized marijuana in the United States of America, we tend to focus on four key states. They are Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Alaska. These states have passed measures on both medicinal marijuana and recreational marijuana. This means that, within reason, these states permit marijuana use. Colorado’s legal marijuana sales increased more than 40% in 2015.
This accounted for more than $135 million in revenue from taxes and fees. This was proof that legalized marijuana could be good for the country. Sales tax funds schools, infrastructure and more. Marijuana users are giving back to society.
This is still seen as the major leap forward for those that favour full decriminalization. However, this focus on just four states blows the national issue out of proportion. Legalization is not favoured by a small demographic in these western states. Instead, we are talking about across the country.
We shouldn’t forget that this is also the case in Washington, D.C. as well. It is legal to smoke recreationally in the nation’s capitol where we made federal laws. Many conservative states in the heart of America are reluctant to even to consider legalization of any kind. The opposition can be active in those countries that oppose.
However, The Tide Is Clearly Turning On This Anti-Legalization Group.
At the moment, 25 states have some form of legalization. That means half of all the states in America allow citizens to use pot to some degree. By the end of this year, that could change. This would shift the favour towards those that are for legalized marijuana and put the anti-marijuana camp in the minority. It all depends on upon the outcomes of some unusual measures on the November ballot.
The States Where Only Medical Marijuana Is Legal.
The general view on the drug has altered significantly over recent years. Many states in the US now agree that marijuana is acceptable when licensed as a prescribed drug. With a few exceptions, these states are found on the western side and in New England. They are:
- New Mexico
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- New Hampshire
What is interesting is that the momentum for marijuana legalization isn’t slowing down. Some states are considering new measures in November ballots. Some of these are more conservative states that are now considering the question of medicinal marijuana. Others are states with legal medicinal marijuana that want to take things even further.
Which States May Join The Movement For Recreationally Legalized Marijuana?
A number states have a ballot in the November election for increasing decriminalization. This means putting these states on the same footing as Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Alaska. They are California, Nevada, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Maine.
There is some confusion over whether Michigan will also have the measure on the ballot. There was certainly an attempt made to do so. This shows that positive opinion is growing in these more liberal states. Medicinal marijuana was the first step on a bigger mission.
California is the most interesting of these. It is surely the state that most outsiders already assume completely decriminalised marijuana. They are almost sure to join with their west coast neighbours in making recreational pot legal. There is an active call for the ballot within the state, and they already see significant benefit from the medical marijuana industry. This is the place where regulated recreational use is a logical progression. Across the country, there are still states yet to vote at all
What About The Rest Of The Country? Is There Are The Chance If Any Change In Legalized Marijuana Here?
Of course, there are still many states that are yet to legalize marijuana in any form. However, there are three states with a medicinal marijuana ballot this November. They are Missouri, Arkansas, and Florida. Florida is an interesting case. Florida attempted an initiative to legalize marijuana for medical purposes two years ago. At that point, it failed. Has opinion changed enough since then to produce a different result?
The results could open the doors for further change in the most conservative states and the heart of the country. If these three states say yes to medicinal marijuana, this could be the start of something bigger. We could see a push towards greater legalization. An apparent shift in public opinion may lead some other states to raise the question. Are there other states with no form of legalized marijuana where a measure might pass with ease?
Could The November Ballots Be The Crucial Turning Point For Marijuana Decriminalization?
This is a long journey towards full decriminalization for those that want to see legalized marijuana across the nation. State laws are slowly changing, but there is still the issue of marijuana’s status in the federal legislation. Despite this, it is clear that opinion is shifting and the tide of legalized marijuana use is rolling in from both coasts.
The west coast has had their say and made medicinal and recreational marijuana legal. States on the eastern seaboard could well be about to follow suit. Meanwhile, medicinal marijuana is steadily creeping inland.
The results of the Florida, Arkansas and Missouri votes will prove to be interesting indications of the current mood. 2017 could be the year where the majority of American states no longer treat marijuana as an illegal substance or place stigma on users. How long before more states give into the flood? How long before they put their measures for legalized marijuana on the ballots?