In 2016, voters in four states supported the legalization of recreational marijuana. Following their example, more and more states across the U.S. are considering the possibility of changing their cannabis policies. Here is the list of four states that may make a decisive move towards fully legalizing weed in the next twelve months.
In Connecticut, medical cannabis has been legal for more than five years. And some local lawmakers think it is time to legalize recreational weed as well. One of the most active supporters of the idea of legal weed―Martin Looney―introduced a bill that would legalize the retail sale and taxation of cannabis. According to Looney, legalizing recreational weed could bring the state up to $60 million in revenue.
In Delaware, some lawmakers think it is time to expand marijuana legalization beyond just the medical use. And even though the state authorities have already decriminalized marijuana last year, it is not enough for the pro-cannabis politicians. Sen. Margaret Rose Henry, for instance, plans to introduce a bill that would legalize the adult use of weed across the state. The initiative is expected to be discussed by the Delaware officials in the following months.
Missouri lawmakers do not give up in their attempt to change the legal status of marijuana. And although the initiative that would have legalized recreational weed did not make the ballot last year, there is a new petition on legalizing marijuana. The Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander has approved the petition already, and now it is up to the pro-cannabis activists to gather enough signatures.
The new petition is quite similar to the last year's marijuana legalization initiative. The document offers to make cannabis legal for both medical and recreational use.
Rhode Island lawmakers will push for the legalization of recreational weed for the seventh time in a row. The new bill, however, will be a bit different from the previous marijuana legalization initiatives. According to Jared Moffat, director of legalization advocacy group Regulate Rhode Island, the lawmakers are going to make the rules on marijuana edibles stricter than the ones passed by Massachusetts voters last year, in order to minimize the risk that children will be able to get access to marijuana-infused edibles.
Furthermore, the new initiative will offer higher taxes on marijuana sales. The lawmakers want to impose a 23 percent excise tax in addition to the state's usual 7 percent sales tax.