In 2018, both Vermont and Michigan legalized recreational marijuana, which was huge for the cannabis movement. But obviously we’re always looking to add more states to the list of legal states, and there are several considering doing so in the very near future.
Here are five states that will likely legalize marijuana in 2019:
1. New York
Last week New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he was including recreational marijuana legalization in his budget for 2019. Considering Cuomo and the Democrats control the state government, the governor’s proposal shouldn’t receive much resistance.
Incoming Governor J.B. Pritzker has endorsed legalizing recreational marijuana, and has said he wants to do so as soon as possible. Several other Democratic leaders in the state have also endorsed this plan, so Illinois will likely legalize marijuana shortly after Pritzker takes office. It also helps that nearby Michigan legalized marijuana, and Illinois may want to beat their neighbors to the punch by allowing cannabis sales first.
3. New Jersey
New Jersey’s been attempting to legalize recreational marijuana for nearly a year now. Several high ranking state politicians, including Governor Phil Murphy, support the effort. And pro-marijuana politicians say they’re close to getting enough votes for the effort, so it shouldn’t take too much longer before they finally pull the trigger.
4. New Hampshire
New Hampshire recently commissioned a study on marijuana legalization that concluded that there were more benefits than costs to doing so. Several politicians in the state in both parties support the effort. The only issue is Governor Chris Sununu opposes legalization and has vetoed efforts to legalize it in the past. But perhaps overwhelming support would convince him to change his mind.
Like in Illinois, Connecticut also elected a pro-marijuana governor last month who supports legalizing recreational marijuana as soon as possible. The idea seems to have momentum because the state is looking for new ways to generate revenue, so marijuana may be less controversial than other ways to raise revenue.