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

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