With the majority of Americans supporting legalization, it’s no surprise that more states are looking to add the measure to their ballots. Marijuana reform advocates from states across the country have been expending their energy on seeing an end to marijuana prohibition.
We did our research and found that the following states see the most promise for becoming legal by 2017.
Nevada is certainly making moves in its efforts to legalize marijuana by 2017. The Nevada Marijuana Legalization Initiative has already made it on the November 2016 ballot. This initiative would legalize the possession of up to one ounce, allowing adults 21 and over to legally consume marijuana for recreational purposes.
In order to get the initiative on the ballot, 101,667 signatures were required to be collected by November 2014. Three cheers for Nevada because they collected 200,000 signatures instead. And since no action was taken by legislature in 2015, the measure remains locked on the ballot allowing Nevada residents to vote on it in November 2016.
The verdict: Things are looking good.
Maine is definitely on its way towards legalization. Activists from The Marijuana Policy Project-backed Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol and Legalize Maine have recently joined forces, collecting about 80,000 signatures to present for the November election.
A total of 61,126 of those signatures must be valid by February 1st in order for the initiative to appear on the November ballot. It’s a safe bet to say that if this measure makes the ballot, it could easily win since a poll in April showed that 65% of Maine residents supported legalization.
The verdict: Things are looking really good.
Arizona has high hopes for legalizing marijuana by 2017. A recreational marijuana legalization campaign has collected 140,000 of 150,000 signatures needed to grab its spot on the November ballot and have until to July to do so.
This proposal, introduced by State Rep. Mark Cardenas (D), would expand the state’s current medical marijuana program, allowing residents 21 or older to possess and use marijuana recreationally. With this, licensed businesses would be able to produce and sell marijuana as well.
The verdict: Things are looking pretty good
Massachusetts has been taking the necessary steps towards legalizing marijuana for recreational use. So far, 103,000 signatures have been collected, and petitioners are confident that they will have more than enough signatures to meet the requirements for the November 2016 ballot.
If enough signatures are collected, and the measure passes, Massachusetts residents would be allowed to grow, buy, and use marijuana recreationally.
The verdict: Things are looking up, for sure
It’s sort of a mystery as to why California has not yet legalized marijuana recreationally since it’s been legal for medical purposes since 1996. But don’t worry, the wheels are in motion for California to become one of the next states to legalize for recreational use.
There are at least 18 legislative initiatives that have been submitted to appear on California’s November 2016 ballot, which would legalize marijuana use for all adults 21 and over.
The verdict: Things are looking great!
So there ya have it. Nevada, Maine, Arizona, Massachusetts, and California are the most promising states to have legalized marijuana by 2017. Are you sad that your state didn’t make the cut? Don’t worry, because as more states turn to legalization, more will be following close behind.
Do you think there are any other states have the potential to become legal by 2017? Let us know on social media or by commenting below.
Latest posts by Abbi Magder (see all)
- The Legal Green Scene In Massachusetts - September 21, 2016
- What The Legal Green Scene Will Look Like In Arizona - September 19, 2016
- This Week In Cannabis & Politics: Senate Members Stay Quiet, Montana Medical Crisis, & Nashville’s Promising Future - September 10, 2016
Want to join the HERB writing community? Submit your story!