More states could join legal marijuana wave this year
Residents in nearly a half-dozen states could vote this fall on legalizing recreational marijuana, as the push to loosen pot laws spreads despite a tough-on-drugs message from the current Justice Department.
Michigan, Rhode Island and Connecticut are leading the conversation this election cycle on whether to legalize the use of recreational marijuana. Pro-pot advocates are organizing in those states in hopes of getting a legalization measure on the ballot.
Similar efforts are underway in Illinois and Vermont, which has already legalized recreational use but could vote this year on green-lighting commercial sales. Other states are considering legislation.
If successful, they’d join the nine other states and Washington D.C., that have already legalized recreational use.
“This is what the citizens want, as proven by the nine states that have approved it for adult-use and more than 30 others who have adopted medical programs and decriminalized procession and use,” said Marco Hegyi, CEO of marijuana cultivation equipment company GrowLife.
In Michigan, officials are still working to validate signatures after over 360,000 were gathered in support of a legal-pot ballot measure. Roughly 250,000 are needed to qualify.
Cannabis remains illegal under federal law, but under the Obama administration states were given the leeway to make their own legislative decisions on marijuana use.