The drive to legalize marijuana in the United States – both medically and recreationally – has been in full force for a while. This year, in fact, there are several states that will have marijuana prohibition-ending initiatives on their ballots this year.
Legalizing recreational marijuana started in Washington and Colorado. Then, he spread to Alaska and Oregon. After this year’s election concludes, many state residents are hopeful their state will be added to the list.
— LegalizationNation (@LegaliztionNatn) August 31, 2016
According to CNN, there are at least 8 states that are likely to legalize some form of marijuana this year. California, Nevada, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Maine all have the legalization of recreational marijuana on their ballot this year; and Florida, Missouri and Arkansas all have the legalization of medical marijuana on their ballot this year.
For most of these states, the economic and financial benefits Colorado, Washington, and other states have been able to enjoy by legalizing marijuana are too great to ignore.
— Toke Tank (@TokeTank) August 29, 2016
Not Every State Is On Board
Unfortunately, for those who support marijuana, the United States is not so united when it comes to legalizing marijuana. Despite the resounding success states such as Colorado, Washington, and Oregon have had – there are some people who still are not sure ending the prohibition on cannabis is best for the United States. For some, there are still too many unanswered questions regarding the long-term effects of making this decision.
According to a number of statewide polls, there are at least 9 states that may never see the legalization of marijuana. At the very least, they will be the last states to legalize it as the end of the prohibition of cannabis will likely be forced on some of these states when and if the change is ever made at a federal level.
Curious to know whether or not the state you live in is on this list? Here are the 9 states that may never legalize marijuana.
According to a 2015 poll, despite the fact that Georgia is home to many rappers and liberal-minded individuals who would likely fall into the group who typically supports legalizing marijuana – less than half of the residents in the state support ending the prohibition. Furthermore, the punishments in the state of Georgia regarding possessing marijuana are among the worst punishments in the entire United States.
Nebraska makes this list because it is one of the states with the most serious punishments for marijuana use and possession. Technically, Nebraska is a conservative and rural state with residents who just aren’t open to the idea of legalization. In fact, Nebraska is one of the states that sued the state of Colorado for legalizing marijuana because it caused Nebraska to have to increase law enforcements and drug trafficking costs, Cheat Sheet reports.
Oklahoma is the other state to sue Colorado because the state’s legalization on marijuana was costing Oklahoma more money to manage drug trafficking issues. Oklahoma, like Nebraska, is mostly a rural and conservative state. Atlernet actually named Oklahoma as the worst state in the United States for getting caught with pot in your possession.
— MERRY JANE (@MERRYJANE) September 4, 2016
One would think Idaho would be more open to the idea of legalizing pot given the fact that it is surrounded by Oregon and Washington – both states where it is legal. However, Idaho is still a conservative state that is firmly against legalizing marijuana.
Most people aren’t too surprised to see Arkansas on this list as a number of the counties within the state also ban the sale of alcohol. The residents have shot down the initiative to legalize medical marijuana every time it has been on the ballot. Punishments for both cultivation and possession are also pretty severe in this state.
— Marijuana.com (@mjdotc) August 31, 2016
A poll conducted by Vanderbilt University a few years ago shows that only roughly 33 percent of residents in the state of Tennessee are even open to the idea of legalizing marijuana. It, however, is not clear how much those numbers have changed in the state of Tennessee in the last two years.
Alabama is a state dominated by republican officials. The state does not have any initiatives in place regarding marijuana. The state has not even been successful at passing legislation for medical marijuana.
A poll conducted in October of 2014 revealed that just 31 percent of the state of Kansas are in favor of legalizing marijuana. The poll also revealed that 33 percent of the state of Kansas feels that possessing marijuana should be a felony offense. Kansas is another dry state where prohibition of alcohol still lingers as well.
The state of Louisiana also makes the list as the state with some of the harshest marijuana laws in the United States. One of these laws includes serving as much as 20 years in prison for repeat possession offenders. Offenders can even get life in prison for marijuana possession if the person has already had a felony. A poll conducted in October of 2014 suggests nearly 66 percent of the state supports fixing these excessive laws, however, the state’s government has yet to make a move.
Where do you stand on the issue of legalizing marijuana? Do you think it is something the United States federal government should just legalize or do you think these states have a right to fight the issue of legalization? Would the United States be better off if marijuana were legal?
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