The amount of states where people can walk into a dispensary and buy their favorite cannabis products, just like alcohol, have been steadily increasing over the course of the past decade.
Given the number of states that currently collect voter signatures in hopes of getting legalization on the ballot during the 2022 midterm elections, it seems as though the trend of legalization won’t be ending any time soon. Numerous states where the notion of legal marijuana was never considered a possibility, could introduce legalization of recreational cannabis as early as next year. Here are a few.
Known as one of the most conservative states in the union, to say it’s surprising to see how Florida’s stance on cannabis has changed over the years would be an understatement. According to a recent poll, adult recreational use of marijuana has the support of 64% of Florida voters.
Fortunately for those who do support the sale and use of recreational cannabis in the state, there’s a current constitutional amendment legalizing adult use cannabis for adults who are 21 and older, and would allow for the home grow of 18 plants. In order for the amendment to reach voters on the 2022 ballot, they need to collect 891,000 valid signatures before February 1, 2022.
Another state with a fairly conservative reputation that’s changed its tune on recreational cannabis legalization is the Buckeye State. Back in 2015, a previous ballot measure legalizing recreational cannabis, but restricting the cultivation and sales to a select few individuals failed. Research shows that 53% of Ohio voters would support the legalization of cannabis for recreational adult use, so it’s no surprise that the push to legalize it hasn’t ended with the failure of issue 3 in 2015.
A current effort to regulate marijuana like alcohol is being led by cannabis activists who are seeking to legalize cultivation, manufacturing, sales and use for Ohio adults at least 21-years-old. The proposal would also place a 10% tax, on top of local sales tax on recreational cannabis sales to support social equity and substance abuse education efforts.
In order for the ballot measure to reach voters in November 2022, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol needs over 130,000 valid signatures to present to the state legislature at the top of the year.
Since recreational cannabis was originally legalized in the nearby District of Columbia back in 2014, it was likely only a matter of time before the discussion would begin amongst lawmakers in Maryland. Those discussions have finally begun taking place as of September 2021. There’s currently a group in the Maryland House of Delegates studying what it would take to get legal cannabis to Maryland residents within the coming year. That’s welcome news for Marylandians since a recent study shows that two thirds of them would welcome the legalization of adult-use marijuana.
The state legalized medical marijuana back in 2017, and has been received to warm reception — the program has amassed $100 million in sales since it was introduced. If that’s any indicator for how legal recreational marijuana would be received, then it’s likely that it would become big business for the entrepreneurs who get involved early.
Given the fact that both its neighbors, New York and New Jersey, have legalized cannabis for recreational adult use in recent years, it’s only natural to assume Pennsylvania to be the next domino to fall. The fact that Governor Wolf gave the green light for the legalization of marijuana use for medicinal purposes back in 2016 should only make the path to legalization for recreational purposes that much smoother.
There are multiple marijuana legalization bills that could become law currently. One is led by a house republican, which lacks provisions for record expungement for nonviolent marijuana crimes while another is a bipartisan effort that includes both of those provisions. The passage of either provision would be a welcome development for Pennsylvanians, as 58% of Pennsylvania residents support legalization.
The 2022 midterms have the potential to be much more than a referendum on the Biden agenda. Election day 2022 could very well be the last bastion of prohibition in a handful of states. If those states do move forward with the legalization of adult use recreational cannabis throughout the course of 2022, the fight for the end of nationwide cannabis prohibition could be reaching its finale.