The news from Colorado’s first sale of recreational marijuana has the nation buzzing. Many of us wish we could live in or at least visit Colorado to enjoy marijuana legally, and while most of us will probably have to wait a few years, there is a good chance that several states will legalize, or at least vote on legalization in 2014. So, what states will legalize weed next, in 2014?
According to Karen O’Keefe who is the Marijuana Policy Project Director of State Policies, “Rhode Island will be next, followed by Alaska … and Oregon soon after.” Here is a rundown of the states that we consider to be moving toward Legalizing Marijuana in 2014 and beyond.
Alaska – The largest state in the Union appears to be one of the best places in America for recreational marijuana reform despite failure of a previous initiative in 2004, getting 44% support of voters.
Cannabis advocates in Alaska have again put together a ballot measure to tax and regulate cannabis for non-medical use. The next step in the process requires 30,000 signatures by June 2014 to be qualified for another vote in August of 2014.
The initiative would allow individuals over the age of 21 to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and 6 plants (up to 3 can be mature) for personal use. Recent polls in Alaska have found popular support with over 54% backing the measure. Check out our previous post about Alaska, for more information.
Here is a rundown of the some of the other states to keep an eye on in the New Year.
Arizona - Recent polls are showing 56% support for legalizing and taxing marijuana. The next step will be gathering over a quarter million signatures to get this on the initiative on the 2014 ballot. Here are some stats regarding those recently polled in the state.
California – Most marijuana proponents will remember all the media coverage of the failed effort in 2010. The California Hemp Act of 2014 would legalize marijuana for both medical and industrial applications. California will require a lofty 750,000 signatures to be included as a 2014 issue. Recent polls have shown 54% support for recreational cannabis in California.
Nevada – There has been increased support for recreational cannabis use in either 2014 or 2016, having already signed medical marijuana into law. Nevada was the 14th state to pass a medical marijuana law. Popular support for recreational marijuana is over the 50% mark needed to amend.
Oregon – Marijuana has already been decriminalized and legalized for medical use with 57% of those asked in support of legalization and taxation. Oregon had been previously mocked for not having properly organized a 2012 marijuana initiative.
Maine – Still not having the 50% needed to change the law, Maine currently has 48% support from registered voters for legalizing recreational marijuana. The Marijuana Policy Project will be focusing on a Grassroots Campaign in 2016.
Massachusetts – One of the best possibilities for cannabis legislation in 2014, with almost 60% of voters in support of taxing and regulating the green miracle plant. No official initiative has been launched and MPP has announced that they will target the state in 2016, but public support leads us to believe that it is only a matter of time before something takes shape before that.
Rhode Island – 2007 marked the decriminalization and legalization of medical marijuana leading many to believe it could be the next state to introduce a cannabis initiative. There is popular support in the state with over 52% supporting recreational use. Law makers have yet to vote on this issue, though it has been debated within the legislature.
Vermont – Governor Peter Shumlin is a big proponent of marijuana reform, and his recent re-election could be an indication of voter support toward legalization. Marijuana was decriminalized in June of 2013 and a bill for legalization was introduced in the House during the last legislative session. Senator David Zuckerman has also just introduced Senate Bill 306, which is similar to the one already pending in the House.
If you live in one of these states, or wish to see your state on this list next year, now is the perfect time to get active. Contact your representatives, donate to organizations, attend legalization events, or just talk to people you know about it. You can take a look at our support page for more information.
Be sure to check back with us on a regular basis as your home for the Cannabis Movement in 2014.