Marijuana has been in the decriminalization process since 1973 with many states over the years passing laws to either authorize the use of marijuana or prohibit it. It is time to stop treating marijuana like a deadly drug, when science and public opinion agree that it is relatively safe for adult recreational and medical use. With recreational and medical marijuana on the verge of nationwide legalization, marijuana growers and dispensaries are popping up everywhere.

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Final Hit: These 12 States Could Pass Marijuana Laws This Year

Cannabis law has already been a hot topic in 2018. Some states have made quick progress toward more progressive laws while others have taken steps backward. But some states could pass marijuana laws this year.

For example, Vermont legalized recreational weed earlier this year. Residents of the state can legally possess up to an ounce of weed starting this July. On the other hand, Virginia lawmakers killed a decriminalization bill at the end of January.

Quite a few states could pass marijuana laws this year. Legalization has been a slow but steady process in recent years. In particular, 2016 was a big year for the movement. During elections that year, nine states voted on new marijuana laws. Eight of them passed. California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine all voted to legalize recreational weed. Additionally, Florida, Arkansas, Montana, and North Dakota all approved new medical marijuana bills. Now, with midterm elections coming this year, there are a number of states considering new cannabis legislation. The following states could pass marijuana laws this year.

Connecticut

The movement to legalize recreational weed in Connecticut has been picking up steam. In 2011, Governor Dannel Mallow decriminalized weed. Then in 2012, the state legalized medical marijuana.

Since then, there’s been a push to extend legalization to recreational weed. Despite a failed attempt to make it happen last year, a majority of Connecticut residents support legalization. If that majority has its way, 2018 could be their year.

Delaware

These 13 States Could Pass Marijuana Laws This Year

Delaware is taking the possibility of legalization seriously. In fact, in recent months the state put together a task force to study the impact of legalizing recreational cannabis.

The group’s findings could have a big impact on what lawmakers decide to do.

Illinois

These 13 States Could Pass Marijuana Laws This Year

People in the know have long thought that Illinois is on the path toward legalization. But so far, no luck. Toward the end of 2017, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner made clear that he opposes legalization.

Despite this, there is growing popular support for making weed legal. On top of that, a judge in Illinois started the year off by expanding the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana.

With that change setting the tone, there’s still a chance that legalization could find its way onto the ballot this year. Illinois is definitely one of the states could pass marijuana laws this year.

Kentucky

These 13 States Could Pass Marijuana Laws This Year

In January, Republican Senator Dan Seum introduced to the Kentucky Senate a bill calling for the legalization of recreational weed. The move has sparked new debate.

So far, it remains unclear whether or not it has a realistic chance of passing. Conservative lawmakers in the state think the bill will not generate enough support. But you never know.

Michigan

These 13 States Could Pass Marijuana Laws This Year

Popular support for recreational weed is huge in Michigan. In fact, a recent survey found that nearly 57 percent of all adults in the state wants to legalize recreational cannabis.

Last year, activists circulated a petition to get legalization on the ballot in 2018. They gathered 360,000 signatures. The state requires only 252,000 to move a petition to the ballot.

With more than enough support, legalization could become a reality this year.

Missouri

These 13 States Could Pass Marijuana Laws This Year

There is growing support for medical marijuana in the Show Me State. In fact, many advocates think 2018 could be the year the state legalizes a medical program.

According to local news sources, a leading activist group has gathered around 100,000 signatures on a petition to legalize medical weed.

The state requires 170,000 signatures to move a petition onto the ballot.

New Jersey

These 13 States Could Pass Marijuana Laws This Year

New Jersey’s new governor, Phil Murphy, talked a lot about legalizing recreational THC while he was campaigning.

So far, he hasn’t ended prohibition. But if he lives up to his promises, then 2018 could be a big year for fans of cannabis in The Garden State.

Ohio

Cannabis advocates in Ohio are working to drum up support for legalization. They hope to get a bill on the ballot this year.

Two years ago, Ohio legalized medical marijuana. In recent years, however, the state has struggled to put together a viable bill to legalize recreational weed.

But who knows, 2018 could be their year.

Oklahoma

These 13 States Could Pass Marijuana Laws This Year

Back in 2016, Oklahoma residents gathered more than 66,000 signatures to get a medical marijuana bill on the ballot. Now, more than a year later, voters in the state will finally get to cast their votes.

In January, Governor Mary Fallin officially announced that a medical marijuana bill would be on the ballot this June.

Rhode Island

These 13 States Could Pass Marijuana Laws This Year

Rhode Island could become the newest Northeastern state to legalize weed. Last year, the state created a commission to study the implications of legalization.

If things go well with the commission’s findings, the state could make it happen in 2018.

South Dakota

These 13 States Could Pass Marijuana Laws This Year

South Dakota could see a bill to legalize medical marijuana on the ballot later this year. Advocates gathered signatures last year and submitted them to officials.

So far, it’s unclear whether or not the movement gathered enough support to actually get an initiative on the ballot.

Utah

Historically, moves to make significant changes to cannabis laws in Utah have struggled to make headway among the state’s largely conservative lawmakers. But things could change in 2018.

Earlier this month, the Utah House of Representatives approved a bill allowing for the controlled cultivation of cannabis. This could pave the way to a more robust medical marijuana program.

Even more promising, Governor Gary Herbert recently hinted that the state could be considering a dramatically-expanded medical marijuana program.

Meanwhile, swelling popular support among Utah voters is fueling the movement.

Original Source: https://hightimes.com/news/legalization/states-pass-marijuana-laws-year/12/

This article was first published on https://www.cannabisimp.com.

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