2018 will seemingly be a big year for the cannabis community. California is gearing up for the recreational marijuana use boost that is coming next month. However, they are not the only state that is expecting big changes. Many states are preparing to vote on marijuana legalization on the 2018 ballot. While it hasn’t been confirmed yet, here are the top three states that are in the best position for legalization.
Despite the surprising red state turn in the 2016 election, Michigan continues to be a progressive state. With large cannabis friendly cities like Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, this doesn’t come as a surprise. Michigan has been helping to revitalize the way that people obtain and use cannabis. Every year Ann Arbor even holds a weekend long marijuana festival, Hash Bash. With special dispensary services like marijuana delivery and cultivating classes, Michigan is on top of their cannabis game.
It isn’t surprising to the people of Michigan that there will be a recreational marijuana vote on next year’s ballot. However, it won’t be an easy battle for Michigan to win. If you walk into any large city dispensary you will be met with tons of petitions to sign. Cannabis supporters are hoping to get the community on board before pushing the marijuana agenda. While Michigan does offer MMJ cards that are easy to obtain, some say it isn’t enough.
Luckily, with the help of the Marijuana Policy Project, Michigan just may have a fighting chance. With support from big donors, the MPP has been able to advertise their goals through TV ads. To the surprise of conservatives, it seems to be working. Most recent polling shows that over 58% of Michigan residents are for recreational use of marijuana. This is especially evident in Detroit where the tax kickbacks have been used to revitalize a once dying city.
This snowy eastern state is also well on its way to marijuana reform. This isn’t surprising seeing as how the state passed the marijuana legalization bill last year. In an unprecedented turn of events, the bill was later vetoed. Democratic Governor, Phil Scott has concerns over how the drug would change the state. He was especially concerned with underage marijuana use and how marijuana would affect DUI laws.
However, this did not stop Vermont from fighting the good fight. Vermont has another chance coming up in 2018 to finally get the bill to stay. The cannabis community has been working tirelessly to come up with a compromise that both sides can agree on. Gov. Phil Scott has even been a part of the discussion. They did this in hopes of avoiding a veto repeat again next year. It isn’t only the Governor that they need to convince either. Vermont has been met with tons of republican backlash as well. The cannabis community is hoping to get enough political support in order to prevent Republicans from blocking the vote.
While this may not seem like that big of a move, it is actually historic. If the bill passes, Vermont will become the first US state to legalize marijuana completely through the legislation. This will open the doors for other states to follow suit.
The most surprising state to join the marijuana movement is New Jersey. The reason why people are surprised by this prediction is because of their infamous Governor. Gov. Chris Christie has very openly been opposed to the legalization of marijuana since the beginning. This isn’t all together surprising when you consider what side of the political scale Christie falls on. Luckily for New Jersey, Christie will soon be on the way out of office.
The bright shining hero on the horizon is soon tonlo be Governor Phil Murphy. The Democratic Governor-elect has even promised New Jersey to make Marijuana legalization a priority. Murphy has gone as far as to say he will legalize marijuana within his first hundred days in office. While Christie is gearing up to put legislations in place to block this, the bill is still expected to pass. There will be special hearings set in early March.
One thing is clear. There is no slowing down the marijuana legalization train. While these three states are on the cusp of marijuana reform, there are not the only ones. There are other states that are looking into joining the revolution to pass medical use of marijuana in 2018. This could mean that we can see many more states pass recreational use of marijuana in the upcoming years. However, does this mean that America will soon become a completely marijuana reformed country? Chances are, no. There are still very conservative states that see marijuana as a hard drug. But, we are still moving in the right direction.