The legalization of marijuana has been a hot topic in the United States for the last few years. Some advocates of marijuana believe that the plant has medicinal properties that can help with everything from insomnia to relieving pain. Other advocates are for recreational use, stating that marijuana is safer than alcohol, which is currently legal in all 50 states.
On the flip side, opponents of legalizing marijuana believe that this illegal drug is just a gateway to harder drugs like crack cocaine and heroin. Some people think that medical marijuana is okay but disagree with recreational marijuana. No matter what side of the issue you stand on, the fact remains that states are taking action to legalize marijuana.
As of January 2019, medical marijuana is legal in 33 U.S. states plus Washington, D.C. Recreational marijuana is legal in 10 states, plus Washington, D.C. Thirteen additional states have decriminalized recreational marijuana, meaning that those caught with marijuana don’t receive jail time but may be fined, lose their drivers license, or face other smaller penalties.
It’s only a matter of time before more states legalize marijuana, either for medical or recreational use or for both purposes. Currently, multiple states that still have laws against marijuana have seen bills introduced, and advocates stand up to have marijuana legalized. With so many people coming forward in support of marijuana, you can’t help but wonder which states will be the next to legalize its use.
According to Forbes, there are a few states that are most likely to take steps toward legalizing marijuana in 2019. Ned Lamont, the governor of Connecticut, has pledged to make marijuana legalization a priority this year. Governor J.B. Pritzker of Illinois stated throughout his campaign that he supports the legalization of marijuana. After he was elected, he confirmed that he wants to take action to make this a reality.
Governor Tim Walz of Minnesota has also vocalized his support of marijuana. He cited increased tax revenue and job creation as just a few of the reasons that he backs the legalization of marijuana.
Other states that could legalize marijuana in 2019 or at least take significant steps toward changing laws include New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Vermont.