More States Choose Legalization
More and more states have introduced legislation to legalize marijuana and 2019 looks like it might be one of the most progressive years for marijuana legalization so far. As of right now, multiple states including New Hampshire, New Mexico, Vermont, and Hawaii are aiming to become more marijuana friendly within the year. So far bills have been proposed in each of these states which would allow consumption of marijuana, and now it is left to the rest of the lawmaking process to determine whether or not these bills will be passed in legislation.
New Mexico specifically has an interesting bill that was proposed, which would allow licensed, privately owned businesses to sell marijuana to people of age. This bill was cleared by both the House Health and Human Services and Judiciary Committees. This is yet another example of the changing attitudes regarding marijuana legalization. Years ago, recreational marijuana use was not legalized in any state but slowly state governments have been legalizing the sale of recreational marijuana and supervising the industry. Passing a bill allowing the sale of marijuana from privately owned businesses is actually much bigger news than it seems, and another victory toward the complete legalization of marijuana.
Vermont’s situation is a little different, as they are trying to pass a bill allowing commercial marijuana sales. The governor of Vermont signed a non-commercial legalization bill which allowed residents to grow and consume their own plants; however, now they are seeking commercial legalization. According to Forbes, even if the governor decides to veto it, about half of the Senate and over a third of the House have already signed as cosponsors to the bills.
In addition to the states listed above, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and others have been working through the process of legalization for months. While not much progress has been made, at least the process and legislation has been discussed seriously on numerous occasions. As we watch 2019 unfold, we may see even more states approach the subject of marijuana legalization. In turn, we can expect more job growth, new industries forming, and large amounts of revenue generated from these programs. My guess is that by 2020, we will be able to add a few more states to the ever-growing list of states who have chosen to legalize marijuana.