Legalization for cannabis continues to increase across the United States despite the fact that marijuana is still illegal federally. 40 states and the District of Columbia currently have a medicinal marijuana program, and 23 states and DC have legalized the recreational adult use of cannabis. Of all the states that have legalized cannabis for any purpose, none have ever repealed or rolled back laws, and public support for legalization continues to increase.
Strong Support in Many Upcoming Elections
The majority of Americans support cannabis legalization and realize that policies are working as voters and politicians intended, which is preferable to prohibition. According to a survey published last October, at least 30% of Americans agree that cannabis should be legal for medical use, and nearly 60% of adults support both medical and recreational use.
There is increasing bipartisan support for legalization, and most feel that it is time for federal and state lawmakers to set aside the stigma and come together with legislation that is consistent with public opinion as well as the available science. Cannabis policies aimed to legalize, regulate, and educate help to reduce the risk associated with the abuse of marijuana in an unregulated market.
13 States to Watch for Cannabis Legislation in 2023
One state confirmed to legalize medical cannabis in 2023 is Kentucky, as the governor signed legislation in March of this year, making Kentucky the 38th state with a comprehensive medical cannabis program. The law will take effect on January 1, 2025, with regulations due by July 1, 2024. The new law will not allow smoking marijuana but vaping raw cannabis is allowed.
In a report from the ACLU, Kentucky is shown to have the worst racial disparities in the country, with black individuals 9.4 times more likely than white individuals to be arrested for possession of marijuana despite similar rates of use. You can let your legislators know how you feel about legalizing cannabis use for adults before legislative deadlines.
Ohio currently has a medical marijuana program and is a lead contender in 2023 to legalize the recreational adult use of cannabis. Ohio missed the statewide ballot last November as state officials deemed that an insufficient number of the 206,943 signatures for a ballot initiative were valid. Proponents for legalized recreational marijuana in Ohio are now in the second phase of this signature drive to pull adult-use legalization on the ballot this November. Learn more about the drive to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Ohio.
Adult use legalization of cannabis has resurfaced in the Minnesota legislature, and the governor has stated he intends to make it a priority this year. Legalization hit a roadblock last year when Minnesota lawmakers in the Senate blocked a vote for legalization. Minnesota is likely to pass recreational use legalization in 2023.
New Hampshire Senate also shot down adult-use cannabis legalization bills last year approved by the house, although a bipartisan group of lawmakers plan to introduce new legislation this year.
Other states to watch for cannabis legalization in 2023 include Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Kansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Hawaii.
As states across the country continue to pass legislation for the legalized use of cannabis, growing your own medicinal garden continues to prove one of the most effective and cost-efficient methods of consuming high-quality cannabis. Quality cannabis seeds are necessary to grow quality cannabis plants.
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