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In 2019, 4 More US States Might Legalize Recreational Marijuana

After a democratic voting, Michigan becomes the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana creating new cannabis domestic market.

12/12/2018

The political and social momentum around the legalization of marijuana continues to grow in the United States. On Election Day this year, Michigan voters officially approved recreational marijuana, making Michigan the tenth state nationwide to do so. Moreover, voters in both Utah and Missouri voted “yes” to the legalization of medicinal marijuana.

As a result, experts, are already looking ahead to which states might be leading the way in 2019 when it comes to the further legalization of marijuana. Currently, the four frontrunners appear to be New Jersey, New York, Illinois and New Mexico. In each of those states, the political momentum appears to be turning in the favour of legalization. And all four of these states have already put into motion new legislation, making final approval and legalization a near certainty in three of the nation’s most populous states.

In New York State, for example, incumbent Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo completely shifted his position in favour of legalization after receiving a strong electoral challenge from actress Cynthia Nixon, who was strongly in favour of legalization. In response, Cuomo authorized a 75-page report from the New York Department of Health, which came out in favour of recreational marijuana. The plan now is to formulate a specific proposal in early 2019 and have it ready for a vote by the end of the year.

A similar story is a case in Illinois, where Democrat Governor J.B. Pritzker defeated a Republican incumbent. Pritzker included recreational marijuana in his campaign platform and has already received assurance from the House Speaker of Illinois that there are enough votes to move ahead with legalization. The goal is to start the debate on new legislation in January 2019 and have a finished bill before 2020.

In addition to New Jersey, New York, Illinois and New Mexico, a handful of other states now appear closer to moving forward with ballot initiatives and building support for cannabis legalization. For example, three Northeastern states – Rhode Island Connecticut and Delaware – appear to be keeping an eye on developments in Massachusetts, which is the biggest state in the region to legalize recreational marijuana. An in the Midwest, Ohio appears ready to move forward with an important ballot initiative in 2019 that would pave the way for legalization.

Thus, it appears that the same momentum for legalization of marijuana that started in Western states such as Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Nevada is now sweeping across the nation to include important geographic regions in the Midwest and Northeast. Now that California has finally embraced recreational marijuana, it’s much more likely that states such as New York will embrace legalized marijuana. At the same time, politicians are finding that it is a lot easier to generate grassroots support on the campaign trail by adopting a pot-friendly campaign platform. Not to mention the fact that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, largely seen as one of the biggest political threats to nationwide legalization at the federal level, recently stepped down from his post in the Trump Administration. That, too, augurs well for marijuana legalization supporters, who are now cresting on a very clear wave of momentum.