Colorado and Washington are the only two states that have passed laws on legally using marijuana but individuals all across the United States are wondering if their state is going to be next. However it takes more than just curiosity. There have to be a combination of factors in place such as polling data, what the present legal framework is that is in place and current ballot measures. It is believed at this time that the five most likely states that will legalize marijuana are Alaska, California, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington, D.C.
Alaska, Oregon and California passed medical marijuana laws way back in the 1990’s and Massachusetts’ was in 2012, and they all have clear records of support from the public. As for each state’s individual records of support and denial, they are listed below.
Alaska sits far away from what is considered the continental United States, and it has a conservative attitude, yet oddly enough it also has a live-and-let-live manner about marijuana. So to try to get marijuana issues on the ballot in that state in 2014, individuals wanting the substance legal had to submit over 45,000 signatures to election officials by Jan. 8. They failed by only having 30,000 needed verified signatures in order to put their initiative on the ballot. So now Alaska voters are going to have to wait to either legalize marijuana or choose to continue prohibition on Aug. 19 of this year when they have their primary election. However, it is believed they will legalize it at that time.
California rejected the legalization of marijuana back in 2010 but support has grown tremendously since then. Although that proposition failed 54 percent to 47 percent, backing has gained much over the past three years. In March, 56 percent of individuals who responded to a poll given by California officials stated that they would vote yes in permitting the statewide agriculture, sales and also ownership of marijuana in that state. Only 39 percent of people stated they would be against it.
Massachusetts legalization advocates believe this state will also approve marijuana for legal use after the 2016 elections. They believe that Bay State residents may be ready to make the final push for full legalization. It was back in 2012 that the residents of Massachusetts were the people to allow the state to become the 18th that legalized marijuana for medical purposes. Back in 2008, Massachusetts voters also decided to legalize the possession of slight amounts of marijuana, therefore allowing the possession of less than an ounce to be punishable by only a $100 fine
Oregon in recent times asked its residents about the question of marijuana legalization. This was in 2012, but the plan failed to pass by a vote of 53 percent to 47 percent. It was similar to what happened in California in 2010. However, also like that state, much has happened in changing voters’ minds since the years that have passed. Now Oregon residents are saying that 57 percent of voters would agree to sanction marijuana in 2014.
Washington, D.C. may not be considered an actual state but it may end meaning that it will not be long that the actual Washington state is not the only Washington Americans find it to actually be legal in the United States. The District of Columbia, which is the seat of the Nation’s capital, still bans marijuana federally, but that might not be for long. Earlier in April of this year, the city council consistently voted to legalize marijuana and allow the possession of under an ounce to be equal to having a parking ticket, which is punishable by a fine that is as small as $25. The measure is most likely to go through because it has support from almost all of the 13 council members. Voters also are in favor of making it legal. A poll taken by Washington officials, which was published just this month, overwhelmingly show citizens favor marijuana legalization 63 percent to 34 percent.
Above are the five states that are the most likely to next legalize marijuana.
By Kimberly Ruble