The wave is upon us for better or worse. Recreational marijuana is now legalized in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and D.C. That’s nine states and the District of Columbia. In addition to recreational marijuana, the states slower to the party have been legalizing medical weed as well. Twenty have legalized. It seems people are picking up on the fact that they want this, and so it seems only a matter of time until they get it–regardless of what the federal government thinks.
So, where will recreational weed be legalized next? It’s hard to say with any certainty, but trends point to a number of possibilities (if we discount any states at all). There are those who suggest that Jeff Sessions’ decision to roll back Obama-era mandates regarding enforcement of marijuana laws in states where the drug has been legalized might slow the momentum, but we think otherwise. This is about the will of the people, not about the will of our federal puppet masters.
64 percent of U.S. citizens support the legalization of recreational marijuana, a record high. The numbers can only continue to grow as one generation compels the next to ease up on archaic values.
Proponents of legalization point to the shockingly high tax revenue brought in by states who have already legalized, and the benefits that that could have for hurting communities across the country are hard to miss. In addition, it might help keep our prison population down since there is a growing wealth of evidence that drug users should be treated as if they were suffering with a medical condition (since they are) and not treated as if they were hardened criminals (since they aren’t).
Delaware seems poised to legalize. Pot possession in Delaware is decriminalized even though marijuana usage rates in the state aren’t so high. What makes Delaware interesting apart from other states is that it might not be the residents who choose to pass the law. House Bill 110 is sponsored by lawmakers and, when it was subsequently approved in the state House, it ultimately failed because it required a supermajority to pass. Even so, it’s a step in the right direction.
Other states that seem like dominoes waiting to fall are: Michigan, New Jersey, North Dakota, New York, and Oklahoma. Really, though–it could be anywhere.