The states expected to consider legislative or ballot initiatives on cannabis use include Vermont, New Jersey, Michigan, Oklahoma, Utah and Virginia.
A number of states are poised to legalize marijuana and approve other far-reaching cannabis measures in 2018, reports Forbes. If marijuana policy advocates’ plans come to fruition in the new year, 2018 will bring about the first legalization laws passed by lawmakers. So far, all eight states to end cannabis prohibition did it through voter initiatives. Forbes handicapped the states likely to enact marijuana reforms next year. They include Vermont, where legislative leaders and Gov. Phil Scott (R) have signaled that they are prepared to legalize marijuana shortly after the legislature reconvenes on Jan. 3. In New Jersey, Gov.-elect Phil Murphy (D) campaigned on legalization, and the Senate president says he’s ready to pass a bill in 2018.
In Michigan, advocates are poised to place a marijuana legalization measure on the state’s November ballot. If the measure is approved, Michigan would be the first Midwestern state to end cannabis prohibition. Oklahoma activists have succeeded in collecting enough signatures to place a medical cannabis measure before voters. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) must decide whether the measure will appear on the June primary ballot or during the November general election. In Utah, activists are mounting a well-funded effort to qualify a medical marijuana measure for the state’s November ballot. Missouri could potentially see three separate medical cannabis ballot measures qualify in 2018. And in Virginia, Gov.-elect Ralph Northam (D) made marijuana decriminalization a centerpiece of his campaign, often describing the issue in stark racial justice terms.