Now that medical cannabis is legal in California and other states, which ones are likely to be on the way to making weed legal? Well, from the look of things out there, it’s evident that some states are preparing to join the growing list. In fact, some have reached advanced stages in their quest to make marijuana legal for medical use. Which states are you are aware of at the moment? Though there are many of them gearing up, here are five states we should watch in 2017.
Texas already took a step last year by passing the Compassionate Use Act which allows the use of low-THC cannabis among patients facing a problem of intractable epilepsy. However, that’s not the only reason to make us place this great state in the list of those to watch. This year, legalization of medical cannabis is among its top agenda. In fact, Senator Menendez has pre-filed a comprehensive bill(SB269) that will no doubt place cannabis in a new category once the law is passed. Besides that, there are five items that relate to cannabis for the 85th session already on the table. With all these and many other moves in Texas that favor marijuana, we should expect to see weed becoming legal in this state before the end of 2017.
This state would have been among those that have already legalized marijuana. However, voters missed a chance slightly in November last year to participate in voting a marijuana bill. Proponents collected signatures to help kick off the process but were invalidated by a court. However, there is hope that weed will become legal before the end of this year. Two bills (Senate Bill 56 and 153) under the sponsorship of Jason Holsman (D) and Rob Schaaf (R) will help make it possible to have a comprehensive statewide program about the use of medical marijuana. Furthermore, Bill 56 if passed will have a similar impact that the November ballot would have had if it had succeeded.
Though Delaware decriminalized cannabis last year, the move served to reduce penalties and other heavy fines for those caught with it. Under the law, those found with small amounts of cannabis will be slapped with a civil fine rather than a criminal offense. That aside, it’s expected that state officials will discuss medical marijuana in the early months of 2017. Moreover, Sen. Margaret Rose Henry has promised to come up with a bill that will seek to make it legal for adults to use marijuana for recreational purposes. With all these developments, it’s likely that cannabis will have a new law to govern it in Delaware this year, henceforth. It’s just a question of a few months before we can start seeing these and other changes for medical cannabis.
#4 New Jersey
Ever since the wave of marijuana legalization started sweeping many states in the US, New Jersey has been on the forefront trying to learn from others. It’s been assessing the impact that legalization of medical weed has had in states where the drug is legal. In fact, Sen. Nicholas Scutari visited Colorado last year October purposefully to evaluate the cannabis legalization’s impact on the state. From the look of things, it’s, therefore, likely that the people of New Jersey will go to the ballot this year to also give medical cannabis a new cloth. Lawmakers are already gearing up to consider taking the move even despite the fact that the governor has been against the attempts to make weed legal in the state. Let’s wait and see what the lawmakers will do.
#5 New Mexico
In September last year, state representatives proposed the Cannabis Revenue and Freedom Act that might see New Mexico become among the states where medical cannabis is legal. Besides that, the proponents of recreational marijuana predict that there’s likelihood to have many cannabis bills discussed. Indeed, the upcoming legislative session won’t come to an end before we see weed becoming legal in New Mexico. Sen. Cisco McSorley’s Hemp Measure pre-filled for discussion under the Senate Bill 6 will also help make it possible to carry out research on industrial hemp. All these and other measures will no doubt see cannabis become legal in New Mexico.
Last year was great for medical cannabis. Even as we get deeper into 2017, we’ll see other states following the footsteps of California and others to make medical cannabis a legal drug. Indeed, this drug is not just another one but a powerhouse of health benefits. Research has, indeed, proved that the use of marijuana for medical reasons is great and recommendable. With a good law to govern it, we’ll see the development of many products from marijuana. Things are already shaping up in California and other states where weed is legal.