Since Colorado and Washington have moved ahead with the legalization of marijuana, what is over the horizon for the rest of the country? Advocates for legalizing marijuana are pretty much waiting to hear from voters before moving forward and passing legislation within many states. Unlike the federal government, local governments have been keeping a close watch on Colorado and Washington and slowly moving in that direction. They are observing the massive income that both of these states are making and finding it difficult to find reasons not to go ahead with removing their bans. Cities within many states have already changed their laws making small amounts of marijuana an insignificant legal offense and decriminalizing the use of marijuana.
Over 20 to 30 years ago, people felt very strongly that marijuana was a dangerous, harmful drug that should not be in their towns or states. Now more and more people are discovering the medicinal benefits that have come about with the use of marijuana. Statistics coming out of the medical world have shown significant improvements in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, HIV (AIDS), and other medical issues. These facts have changed the minds of many people who were originally in a resistance mode regarding its legalization.
Along with the selling of cannabis throughout Colorado, marijuana and smoke shops are introducing buyers to a whole new world of marijuana vaporizers and hookahs. The state is forming an immense income in many new avenues since legalizing grass.
At present, there are other states that are moving very closely to legalizing grass for recreational purposes.
Here are the states that are probably the very closest to jumping on the bandwagon with Washington and Colorado:
California is one of the most authoritative states in the union when it comes to legislation that attracts the attention of many other states. The legalizing of marijuana will have a major impact on the rest of the country. This state has the largest supply of medical marijuana in the entire world and almost seems a slam dunk in joining the ranks of legalization. Although it will not show up on the ballot until 2016, voters and legislators are already showing strong signs that California will legalize the sale of marijuana for recreational purposes.
If Oregon passes legalization, this will be a major landmark on sealing up the entire Pacific West Coast, along with Washington and California. Oregon is the leading candidate to becoming the third state to end its ban on marijuana. Although this state has a very high percentage of conservatives, it also is home to a major population of baby boomers who spent their youth as hippies. Although legalization did not pass in 2012, it came very close. The newest poles are showing a large percentage (57%) of residents that are now in favor of supporting legalization. It doesn't hurt that statistics are showing a possible tax revenue of approximately $40 million dollars if marijuana is legalized.
Moving clear across the country to the most north eastern state, Maine is getting ready to mount their campaign to legalize marijuana. Signatures are being collected and more and more residents are in favor of striking down the ban. Maine, while the largest state in New England, is by no means a wealthy state. The legalization of marijuana could give their state the revenue boost it has needed for quite some time. Voters believe that law enforcement should be concentrating on violent crimes that are taking place rather than wasting their time on marijuana offenders.
With influence from Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire would more than likely follow their sister state down the path of legalization. If Maine passes legislation and legalizes the sale of grass, others will follow.
This November, the voters of the District of Columbia will be speaking up and casting their votes on legalization. The irony lies in the fact that this is home to our federal government, which is completely against the legalization of grass. Statistics are showing strong pro-marijuana sales among its residents, leaving the federal government in a bad position. The government can't very well justify the ban on marijuana when the district will no longer be enforcing criminal actions against grass users. Many people will be keeping a close eye on November voting in the Capital of the U.S.
Heading down southwest to the balmy, beautiful islands of Hawaii, many Hawaiians want marijuana legalized. This plant has been a part of their culture for centuries and even though it hasn't passed yet, many believe it will soon. Earlier this year, a bill was brought before the legislators but it died on the floor. Voters are fiercely wanting it on the ballot for legalization and will be marching forward to make that happen. While Hawaii continues to watch the revenue increases going on in Washington and Colorado, arguments against its legalization are just not going to hold water. The revenues coming into the state are just too enticing.
In regards to Washington State, the revenue they will bring in from the sales of marijuana will pay for many state projects including roads, other infrastructures, and improvement in schools and these revenues will allow the state to operate very efficiently. Many other states are watching Colorado move ahead with remarkable revenue sales and once Washington figures out their glitches, will show a very positive impact as well.
Alaska has won its vote:
Although this state has not passed legalization on the subject, it has been the state that has turned a blind eye on the sale and usage of marijuana for many, many years. Those in favor of passing legalization and those opposed are pretty much split right down the middle. Law enforcement had no plans of letting up on the laws. Before if caught, you are brought up on charges. Legislators and business owners were getting the word out to voters regarding the benefits of legalization, including a huge increase on the state's budget! Alaskans have crossed their fingers and keep their ears to the ground, and in return, Alaska now offers medical marijuana. See here for Alaska Marijuana registry.