Cannabis Activists Take Heart: These States Could Legalize In 2016

Ohio may have voted down Issue 3, the controversial attempt to legalize cannabis and create a marijuana monopoly. But another group is already organizing for a new vote in conjunction with the 2016 presidential election. And that's just one of a possible 19 states that could vote on legalizing cannabis for medicinal and/or recreational use.

Here's a visual of the 2016 legalization landscape (Ohio is a question mark because the map was created prior to the Issue 3 vote):

If every recreational measure passes, the U.S. would jump from having four to 18 legal states (and Washington, DC). That's more than a third of the country. But don't get too excited: we still don't know if every initiative will get enough signatures to get on the ballot, let along pass in a state-wide vote on Election Day.

Rolling Stone considers these states likeliest to legalize next (drum roll, please):

1. California: if divisions among activists don't defeat their shared cause.

2. Maine: where rival legalization groups recently united for the greater good.

3. Massachusetts: where there's a friendly competition between two rival measures (one of the groups already has enough signatures to get on the ballot).

4. Vermont: which may become the first to legalize through the state legislature.

5. Nevada: whose motion got unofficial support from Bernie Sanders.

Want to know where things stand with each state? Check out the Washington's Post's excellent overview.

h/t Rolling Stone, Washington Post, East Bay Express, Mass Live, NORML

Banner Image by Flickr User Ron Reiring


Recently the World Health Organization recommended that countries around the world reschedule marijuana and remove it from international drug treaties. And now the European Parliament is doing the same. The European Parliament passed a new resolution calling on member states to increase access to medical marijuana and increasing research efforts into cannabis.

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