9 More States Likely To Legalize Marijuana

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Dispatches from the Highlands

Marijuana news from contributing authors and staff writers on the latest in marijuana and medical marijuana

May 26, 2018
San Francisco, CA


The below excerpts and information is sited from 24/7 wall st (www.247wallst.com) article

1. Alaska
Pop. 735,000
Sales tax undisclosed

Alaska has become somewhat of a surprise candidate for states up for marijuana legalization, partially via a legislative technicality. The state has a vote on the matter in November. The current form would allow those aged 21 and higher to buy marijuana at state-regulated stores, which would allow the state to tax and regulate marijuana similar to alcohol. Individuals would be allowed to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, as well as to be allowed to grow very limited amounts in private. If approved in the current form, pot smoking in public would still be banned.

2. California
Pop. 38.3 million
Sales tax $33.91 billion

California has allowed medicinal marijuana with very lenient terms. The criteria are loose enough that many outsiders assume that the state allows marijuana use for recreation. Lighting a cigarette may come with taboos, but it is quite common to run across Californians and visitors smoking marijuana in public. Selling or growing pot can still land you with a felony on your record, and more widespread legalization efforts remain a work in progress. One interesting note: Berkeley recently voted to make medical marijuana dispensaries give a small amount of medical marijuana to the poor and homeless for free.

3. Maryland
Pop. 5.93 million
Sales tax $4.11 billion

Maryland joined the ranks of states that legalized medicinal marijuana in 2013, and more recently it decriminalized possession of small amounts under 10 grams. The medical marijuana treatment is still subjective and has not been universally adopted nor universally accepted by medical professionals. The more recent approval to decriminalize possession of under 10 grams of marijuana — taking effect in October — will still act almost the same as a minor speeding ticket. This is still well short of making the state change its name to Mary-Janeland.

4. Massachusetts
Pop. 6.69 million
Sales Tax $5.18 billion

Massachusetts allows for medical marijuana use in debilitating conditions with a state registration card. This is not as universally applied as some states. A House bill would legalize marijuana and tax it. The name Taxachusetts again comes up. The votes are still shown to be a small majority in favor, so the issue remains up in the air.

5. New Hampshire
Pop. 1.32 million
Sales tax undisclosed

New Hampshire has already signed a bill into law that legalized marijuana for medicinal use, but the restriction is that patients have to have a three-month history with a physician to cut down on the “journeying tourist patients.” The House previously passed decriminalization bills that were then stopped by the Senate. Efforts to possess under an ounce for personal use remain underway, but it is unclear if these will move further along later in 2014 or if it will be pushed out to 2016.

6. New York
Pop. 19.65 million
Sales tax $12.11 billion

It may seem like a surprise that New York would be on the list of states set to approve marijuana use, but the state recently passed medical marijuana approval under the Compassionate Care Act, becoming the 23rd state to allow for some form of medical marijuana use. Currently this is on a non-smokable form of approval. If New York, and New York City, realize the taxes on top of tobacco sales now, the effort is likely to face lower hurdles.

7. Oregon
Pop. 3.93 million
Sales tax undisclosed

Oregon is another state where many might have already thought marijuana laws had already passed. The state has had some of the nation’s most liberal policies, treating small amounts of possession almost the same as a speeding ticket, dating back to the 1980s and 1970s. Legislation to legalize marijuana previously failed and is up for vote late in 2014. If voter turnout is high enough, legalization efforts here seem favorable for approval — if the matter is not pushed out until the next local round of elections.

8. Rhode Island
Pop. 1.05 million
Sales tax $881 million

Rhode Island allows personal use and cultivating for medical marijuana needs, and bipartisan support was there in its legislature to legalize and tax marijuana later in 2014. The marijuana Policy Project and other news reports showed that the state legislature adjourned in late June without voting on the outright legalization matter. That kicks the can down the road, although support seems more and more likely for an outright legalization.

9. Vermont
Pop. 626,000
Sales tax $347 million

Vermont decriminalized marijuana in 2013 and already allows marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes. This treats pot about like a minor speeding ticket, as long as the amount you have in possession is under an ounce (or a pound of “infused” solid products or 72 ounces of liquid form). While far from outright legalization, Vermont is now among the leading states in the legalization efforts.

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