So much marijuana reform, so much time left on the calendar in 2017. Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wyoming, and Washington, D.C. all have strong policymakers working to actively legalize and regulate cannabis. When passed, these 14 states will follow in the footsteps of Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. It’s a common adage in the cannabis industry that once Texas legalizes weed, the country’s truly gone to pot. Or something.
Nonetheless, a potential 22 states with full-on legalization would be impressive—and that’s not counting states that have decriminalized or legalized medical marijuana programs. The bottom line: An overwhelming majority of U.S. states, almost all 50 (plus Puerto Rico and Guam), are reforming cannabis laws.
What could happen?
Some of these initiatives, bills, and state constitutional amendments will get shot down, either by voters or various branches of state government. Wyoming and Mississippi specifically have experienced hurdles in the process requiring policymakers to go back to the drawing board and develop new ways to introduce legalization. Regardless, voters in both states support reform, especially decriminalization. In many states that have already legalized cannabis, lawyers and courts have been offering expungements of past cannabis convictions—something we all want to see.
A look at the national perspective.
Polls show nearly 90 percent of Americans support medical marijuana while around 60 percent support legalization. Why the discrepancy? Well, a number of people across the country associate legalization with