While New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has so far taken a decidedly anti-marijuana stance during his 2016 presidential run, other candidates, like Bernie Sanders, have been leaning more toward marijuana legalization. Judging by the several states that may soon be joining Colorado, Washington, and Oregon in the legalization of marijuana, the pivotal marijuana legalization issue won’t be going away anytime soon.
24/7 Wall St examined the state marijuana legalization issue by exploring which states are most likely to legalize the long controversial marijuana, also known as ganja, pot, herb, reefer, and maryjane.
If you’re considering a move to a new state and use marijuana either for medical reasons or recreational purposes, the following list of 11 states most likely to legalize marijuana, followed by a marijuana fun fact for that state, may help you decide where to make your new home.
1. Massachusetts – According to a Boston Herald poll, 53 percent of residents want legal marijuana.
2. Nevada – The state has already decriminalized small amounts of marijuana but maintains harsher penalties for larger amounts.
3. California – Because of its “sheer size and influence,” California legalizing marijuana may lead to federal legalization.
4. New York – The Empire State is currently considering two bills that would legalize and tax marijuana.
5. Vermont – According to a Rand research study, the people of Vermont went through an estimated 15 to 25 metric tons of marijuana in 2014.
6. Minnesota – As of 2013, 75.4 percent of teenagers didn’t consider smoking marijuana once a month “risky behavior.”
7. Connecticut – The state is currently considering “several bills” that would make marijuana legal for adults.
8. Maryland – A bill that marijuana legalization advocates endorse was recently signed by Governor Larry Hogan.
9. Rhode Island – It is believed that no other state uses as much marijuana per capita as “Little Rhody,” with about 20 percent of those 12 and older reportedly having used at least once in 2012.
10. Maine – The people of Portland, Maine, voted in 2013 to legalize the adult possession of small amounts of marijuana.
11. Delaware – The Diamond State became the 20th state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana when Governor Jack Markell signed a law in June.
24/7 Wall St based their list on a number of factors, including choosing states where marijuana laws are already relatively mild, where medical marijuana is already legal, the number of yearly marijuana-related arrests, and the number of people 12 or older that reported to have used marijuana sometime during the previous year.
One state that didn’t make the list is Arizona, but marijuana legalization advocates are pushing hard for marijuana reform in the Grand Canyon State as well, reports AZ Central.
Arizona marijuana legalization advocates are currently getting signatures and trying to get a bill called the “Marijuana Policy Project of Arizona” on the 2016 ballot. Supporters of the bill say marijuana taxes alone would generate $40 million for Arizona schools.
“We have a choice: We can either tax and regulate marijuana for the benefit of education and public health care, or we can keep it illegal for the benefit of illegal drug cartels,” said the campaign’s chairman, J.P. Holyoak, during a news conference at Arizona’s state capitol.
Meanwhile, both Colorado and Idaho have had to replace the 420 mile markers on their highways with 419.9 mile markers. Apparently too many marijuana pranksters can’t resist stealing the 420 signs, 420 being a popular number in marijuana culture.
[Image by Sean Gallup / Getty Images]