Efforts to marijuana legalization for both medical and recreational purposes has come a long way in the last few years, and there could be some big changes in the next year alone. The upcoming election in 2016 is a big deal for several reasons, including the fact that a dozen states will be asking voters to make decisions regarding the marijuana legalization, including Georgia, Maine, New Mexico and Montana. While some of these states will only be voting on whether or not people should be allowed to use cannabis for medical purposes, recreational use could become a reality in the following three.
While residents of Nevada already have access to medical marijuana, that freedom could expand in 2016. Unlike many other states where a vote may happen, Nevada is currently the only one where a vote on recreational marijuana is guaranteed to be on the ballot. That’s in part thanks to the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol in Nevada. They were able to gather 200,000 signatures in support of the vote, more than twice what they were tasked with accomplishing.
Another state where recreational marijuana could soon be legalized is right here in New York. If you go back a few decades and told someone this would be on the ballot in New York in 2016, they may think you are crazy, but this is just another example that shows how far marijuana legalization efforts have come in the last decade. One caveat is that New York only legalized medical marijuana for restrictive use with vaporizer pens and other non-smokable dosages in 2014, so some people think it may be too soon to make the jump to recreational use, but others see it as a sign that there is already support around the state.
Using marijuana for medical purposes with a dry herb vaporizeris something that has been allowed in California for many years now, so it should come as no surprise that they’re one of the states looking to expand to full recreational use. The state is seen as one of the most progressive in the country, so it’s only a matter of time before this becomes a law in the state. While it’s not yet guaranteed to be on the ballot, the Marijuana Policy Project in California is busy making sure it happens.
These are just a few of the dozen states that will most likely be voting on some form of marijuana legalization during the 2016 election. While there’s no way to know which efforts will be successful, we’re confident that at least some states will pass these laws. At this rate, marijuana for both recreational and medical purposes could be legal throughout the entire country within a decade.