Since 2012, four states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana usage. The tempo is still not very high, but 2016 promises to be a great year for cannabis legalization. The number could double due to the high approval rating shown in national polls. This does not mean that legalization is inevitable in any given state. Public opinion can change rapidly as it was with Ohio in November 2015. But what could be the next states to legalize weed in 2016?
According to the national polls and the public opinion expressed in forums and in the social media related to medical cannabis, we can name at least four states that may join the list of the states with legalized weed. These states are Nevada, California, Maine, and Arizona.
There is one thing that unites these four states—each of them already has a strong medical marijuana program and has gone a long path from the start of the struggle to this point. For example, in Arizona, the very first attempts to legalize cannabis took place back in 2010. And now, six years later, the race is still very tense: 49% of citizens support the law while 51% oppose it. Apparently, it is going will be an extremely rough battle where every vote may change everything.
States that stand a little bit further on their path of medical cannabis legalization include Michigan, Connecticut, Ohio, Vermont, and Rhode Island. Connecticut was actively preparing for the legislation during 2015 with two initiatives and police receiving special instructions. The only question is will everything be ready till 2017? Ohio is also among next states to legalize weed since it has one of the highest rate of support (84%). But, unfortunately, the financial issues were not thought over well enough. And putting control in the hands of ten investors does not sound like a good idea.
At last, here is the list of states which are less likely to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational needs in the near future: New York, Missouri, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Delaware. Due to various reasons, these states are not ready to pass marijuana legislation this year. On the other hand, no one says that the legalization of marijuana is completely impossible in these states. And even in the worst case, you can always move to a state where your favorite plant is legalized for both medical and recreational use.