Alaska, Colorado, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have all legalized cannabis for use by adults. As the research comes in, more states are choosing to see the beneficial side of marijuana, hemp, and its derivatives. Polls show that the public is also getting on board with the idea of decriminalization. In the coming months, there are 6 states that will be voting on measures to bring in a new age for cannabis.
Delaware is one state that will be considering changes this session. Their polls show that 61% of voters favor legalization for adults 21 and older. While a majority of House representatives support this, agreements on new fees and taxes that have to be made. Lawmakers will take up legislation next year.
In June, Oklahoma passed a very liberal measure on the road to legalization and will continue to meet the signature requirements for the ballot vote in November. New York is strongly encouraging a change in the legal status of marijuana.
The New York Board of Health is supporting legalization based on its own commissioned study that showed disproportionate incarceration of ethnic populations due to criminalization. The state is hoping to fight opiate addiction and other drugs that are regularly abused. They also acknowledged the benefits of job creation and taxation of cannabis for the state.
North Dakota has collected 19,000 signatures for the legalization of cannabis to be on the November ballot. The measure would make it possible for adults over 21 to use cannabis as well as possess related paraphernalia. Past convictions would also be expunged for marijuana. While the state did pass previous legislation that would make it legal for medical uses in 2016, no program was implemented. This is why the state is pushing to approve signatures for a vote in November.
New Jersey is working to hasten the decriminalization of cannabis on the grounds that incarceration for such a minimal infraction was morally wrong. Phil Murray, New Jersey’s governor campaigned for legalization and has it budgeted for 2019. A moratorium on municipal marijuana charges was recently instated by New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. The Senate will consider legislation before November.
Michigan is voting on the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act in November. This would make it legal for adults 21 years of age and over to grow and possess amounts of cannabis and concentrates for personal use. The measure would also license for commercial production and sale of cannabis.
Legal status has been a roadblock for cannabis for far too long. With the medical uses that are already proven and the research that continues to come in, we are entering a rational era for cannabis. Education about how it works and how it can work for us has become the focus greener pastures are on the horizon!