Five US States That Could Legalise Cannabis in 2016
Vermont’s attorney general is predicting legalization in 2016. If the marijuana-friendly legislators pass recreational marijuana, they will be the first lawmakers with the political courage to directly challenge federal prohibition, rather than use a ballot initiative to legalize weed. The groundwork has been being laid for years, it has the support of key state political figures, including Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) and House Speaker Shap Smith (D), and legislative hearings on how—not whether—to legalize next year are already underway. The legislature failed to move legalization bills this year, but the stage is set for 2016.
Massachusetts opened its first medical dispensary this summer, and many believe the state will legalize weed by referendum in 2016. “Polls show voters are poised to pass full legalization next November,” says Angell. One recent poll had support for legalization at only 41%, but it had a small sample size and large margin of error. Polls from 2014 had legalization winning by anywhere from six to 13 points, and the voters previously supported medical marijuana and decriminalization initiatives with a 63% vote.