U.S. marijuana legalization is spreading like a weed. The question is — which states will be next to legalize marijuana? Keep reading to get the scoop on the most likely U.S. states to step into the cannabis industry.Most would agree Election Day 2016 was a victory for marijuana as residents in nine different states were set to vote on new cannabis initiatives. There were five states voting to legalize recreational marijuana and four voting on medical marijuana initiatives. Out of these nine states, Arizona was the only state where marijuana was not victorious. Per the Motley Fool, the marijuana initiative in Arizona lost by just 2 percent. Currently, there are 28 states in addition to Washington D.C. that have legalized medical marijuana, and the number of states with legal recreational cannabis has doubled from four to eight since this election. For the U.S. cannabis industry to continue to spread like a weed, it will need to continue to expand to other states. Fortunately for those who are supportive of the cannabis industry, it is possible the election of Donald Trump will help the marijuana initiative across the U.S. as he has gone on record to announce his support of marijuana for medical use. Trump has also gone on record to claim that individual states should have the right to make their own choices regarding the legality of marijuana.
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Some will question whether or not Arizona should be on this list simply because the state failed to legalize marijuana the first time around. However, legalizing marijuana in the U.S. is a battle, and there will be some loses as well as some victories. In fact, per the Motley Fool, it is not uncommon for states to fail to pass a marijuana initiative before being successful. Here are some examples:
- California was unable to pass the initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in 2010, but the initiative passed with an overwhelming majority in 2010.
- Oregon also passed the initiative to legalize marijuana in 2014 after being unsuccessful in 2012.
The University of Delaware conducted a poll which revealed 61 percent of those who responded to the poll support legalizing recreational marijuana. If the residents of Delaware can get the support of the governor's office for the state, they could have a smooth victory next year.
Per Leafly, Rhode Island is an example of one of the U.S. states with a very successful medical marijuana program. Brown University recently conducted a poll which determined that 67 percent of voters in the state support the current medical marijuana program and 55 percent support the ideal of passing a law to tax and regulate recreational use of marijuana as well. The study also noted the support for legalizing marijuana in the state of Rhode Island was especially strong in residents under the age of 44.
While some find this surprising, Rhode Island has also held the title of highest cannabis consumption rate in the United States for two years in a row. This is a huge victory for the state of Rhode Island as it is also one of the smaller states in the U.S. Thus far, the state has not been successful at pushing an initiative to legalize recreational marijuana. But, there is still hope that 2017 could be the year for this state.
Which of the U.S. states do you want to legalize marijuana? Share your thoughts with us on U.S. marijuana legalization in the comments section below.
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