For years now, Americans grew by the fact that marijuana is a powerful yet dangerous drug that results in criminal behavior and death when allowed in the community. Though its effects served as an eye opener to people in the past decade, many communities have discovered its medical benefits. For that reason, they are pushing marijuana legalization.
On June 25, the Ohio Ballot Board gave the Ohioans to End Prohibition, the signal to start gathering over 305,591 signatures of Ohio voters, in order to qualify for the statewide campaign of legalizing marijuana in 7 states on November 2016.
Sri Kavuru, President of the group, said in an email, “We expected the ballot board would see our amendment as a single issue and we are happy that they agree. OTEP is looking forward to collecting signatures from the hundreds of thousands of Ohioans who want a real end to prohibition, who respect our constitution, and support free enterprise and small business”.
With an aim to legalize marijuana use for people with qualifying medical conditions and adults over age 21, the group launched the “Cannabis Control Amendment”. The amendment will allow the local farmers to cultivate industrial hemp. However, it will be taxed and the revenues are all going to the local government, industrial hemp and medical marijuana research, and addiction and drug abuse education and treatment.
Aside from the OTEP, there are three other groups gathering signatures for their proposed amendment. These are Ohio Rights Group, Better for Ohio, and Responsible Ohio.
Although Ohio is still doing their best to legalize Marijuana, Colorado and Washington have already passed on their amendment to legalize cannabis in 2012. Since then, they became the first legal marijuana markets in the United States. So far, things are working out well, however, slowly.
As of 2014, more and more states in the country were granted to legalize cannabis. And, it seems that the west coast is becoming the center of the movement. Nonetheless, things are expected to still change by 2016.
So far, many states are getting closer to their aim of legalizing marijuana. In fact, local governments are taking baby steps, by slowly passing ordinances. While Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and Colorado have successfully pushed the legalization of marijuana, other states are gearing up on their own. In 2016, the seven states below dream to see their aspirations for marijuana legalization become a reality.
Massachusetts is among the many states that is preparing for a 2016 ballot initiative. After all, they are one strong state as they became the first state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage and install sweeping healthcare reforms. Now, marijuana legalization supporters are on their way for their next major goal – to put an end to cannabis prohibition.
California, the most populous state, is gearing up to ending marijuana prohibition. Once they are able to pass all the measures, they are expected to bring drastic change to the national economy, especially that they are already home to one of the medical marijuana powerhouse markets on the planet,
According to John Payne, executive director of Missouri’s Show-Me Cannabis, “Opinions on marijuana legalization have been shifting for the past twenty years and dramatically so in just the past six to seven years”. He and his group attempts to legalize cannabis in the state in 2016. However, he still needs 8% of the signatures of voters in eight of Missouri’s congressional districts.
Hawaii is by far among the most famous states that grow marijuana. For the locals, it is a plant that is heavily cultivated in the island’s culture. Earlier in 2015, a bill to legalize marijuana was brought before officials, but it died shortly. It seems that the registered voters of Hawaii have to pass a voter-backed plan if they really want legalization to happen.
The Western States seem to rule the legalization discussion, however, somewhere at the northeastern part of the country lies Maine, preparing to push legalization efforts on their own. Recently, they have collected enough signatures to give the advocates some momentum. So, there are chances that they might be able to pass legalization legislation.
As the whole west coast gears up for legislation, locals of Nevada don’t want to be left behind. Earlier this year, members of the state legislature and some other local supporters, started gathering signatures in preparation for the election cycle 2016.
State senator Richard Segerblom said, “If we do this right, this will be a major boom to tourism, which is our economy. I wanted to be the first, let’s put it that way”.
Even if the state is known for their rather intense law enforcement, drug trafficking has long been a problem. Nonetheless, marijuana legalization advocates from Arizona have already started filing the paperwork. And it seems that they are looking forward to an amendment patterned after the approach used by Colorado.