In November, California, Massachusetts and Nevada passed laws in November that legalized the use of recreational marijuana. Specifically, Prop. 64 now specifies that adults 21 years and older can legally possess at least one ounce of marijuana. Other states that have legalized marijuana in some way, shape or form are:
- New York
While some states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, such as New York, that does not mean it can be used recreationally. That means you must have some chronic illness, such as cancer, in order to get a prescription. There are also not many dispensaries in New York.
Only back in January 2016, New York finally opened 8 dispensaries. In order to purchase marijuana, you also need a marijuana card. As the world begins to realize the benefits of marijuana, such as relieving anxiety, more states are beginning to open the door. Here are the next 8 states that could legalize marijuana for adults over 21.
1. Rhode Island – Rhode Island Governor, Gina Raimondo, is in favor of fully legalizing marijuana as long as it is done in a way that “keeps people safe”. Their main goal is to eradicate an illicit market with a legal one.
2. New Jersey – Even though Governor Chris Christie was against legalizing marijuana, other lawmakers such as Democrat Reed Gusciora introduced bills to tax and regulate cannabis. They have even visited Colorado to study the legal market.
3. Texas – They passed the Compassionate Use Act, which allowed people with epilepsy to use low-THC marijuana, but now the state is looking to decriminalize cannabis even further. In 2017 they hope to decriminalize cannabis to a point where all you get is a $250 ticket and no criminal record.
4. Delaware – A poll conducted at the University of Delaware showed that 61% of people approve of legalization for adults over 21. The matter is expected to be discussed sometime this year.
5. Vermont – Bernie Bros rejoice. They nearly passed a law last year to legalize cannabis for adults, but will consider the law again sometime in 2017. It is estimated they could make over $70 million in taxes from legalization.
6. Kentucky – Kentucky State Senator Perry Clark filed a bill for 2017 that would legalize marijuana. Once an afterthought, they are beginning to realize the business implications of legalization.
7. Missouri – Republicans and Democrats have both filed bills to legalize medical cannabis. While people can’t use cannabis recreationally, it is a big step forward to one day getting there.
8. New Mexico – Currently in the midst of a $600 million deficit, some extra dollars from cannabis could be a nice boost. Two Democrats proposed a bill called the Cannabis Revenue and Freedom Act in order to begin the process. This will also battle the illegal smuggling of cannabis from across the border.