Cannabis legalization will be on the ballot this upcoming November in several additional states. Fast forward half a decade into the future or even sooner and you might find cannabis is legalized for both recreational and medicinal purposes across nearly the entirety of the United States.
More and more states are collecting signatures, setting the stage for one of the most important election days in the country's relatively short yet dramatic history. It is only a matter of time until the states live up to their name as “United” and legalize cannabis at the ballot box.
The November midterm elections are less than two months away. Nearly half a dozen states will soon put the legalization of recreational marijuana for adult use up for vote. Medical cannabis will likely be put on Nebraska’s voting ballot. Rewind to April and Maryland lawmakers put the legalization of recreational weed up for vote, paving a path for a cannabis referendum on the ballot in November.
Even Missouri, one of the most politically red states in the country, recently announced that advocates for cannabis legalization gathered sufficient signatures to put a recreational initiative in front of voters. It is also encouraging that Al Jaeger, the secretary of state in North Dakota, recently certified that he had a sufficient number of signatures to put the adult-use of cannabis legalization on the ballot this upcoming November.
Ask Arkansas natives about local politics, culture and social norms and you might feel a bit of culture shock. Though few know it, the "Wonder State" has dry counties where alcohol cannot be carried in the open, regardless of whether it is sealed or open.
The self-proclaimed Bible Belt of the United States frowns upon consuming alcohol, especially on Sunday, yet Arkansas is showing potential for progress in the context of cannabis. The State Supreme Court of Arkansas recently provided conditional approval, empowering residents to vote on upcoming amendments to the state constitution to permit the sale of cannabis to adults.
Oklahoma is also getting in on the cannabis explosion, submitting a petition for adult-use marijuana through the commercial market. Florida marijuana legalization advocates have their sights set on adult legalization in ’24. Ohio weed legalization backers reached a deal with state conservatives to put legalization on the ballot next year, assuming state lawmakers don't pass the bill on its own before the matter reaches the ballot for a public vote.
In short, more states are leaning toward legalization, potentially creating a metaphorical critical mass that catalyzes the federal government to take sweeping, across-the-board action by removing the plant from the Schedule I list of substances.
Use your mind’s eye to envision what the United States will look like in the context of cannabis legalization in the near future and you'll see the collective whole is making significant progress. Entrepreneurs are in the catbird seat to take full advantage of cannabis legalization in the months and years ahead.
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