Six States Likely To Legalize Marijuana In The Next Election Cycle
While battles for both medical and recreational pot are underway in a number of states across the nation, these are the six states experts feel could be the next ones to legalize the drug during the 2014 election cycle.
#1 - Oregon
Oregon is well known for its liberal politics, so it should come as no surprise that the state would be spearheading the effort for legalized marijuana. Indeed, many political observers both inside and outside the state expect Oregon to be the next to legalize pot for recreational use.
#2 - Florida
Advocates of marijuana legalization just passed a major milestone when they gathered enough signatures to get the measure on the fall ballot. While those opposed to the legalization of marijuana are vowing to fight the legitimacy of the signatures on those petitions, experts widely expect that the measure will indeed appear when voters go to the polls in 2014.
Recent polls have shown that a majority of Floridians support the legalization of marijuana. That means there is reason to believe that the Sunshine State will indeed take this step when the 2014 election season rolls around.
#3 - Alaska
Many outside observers would not expect Alaska to legalize marijuana. After all, the state is known as the home of conservative darling Sarah Palin, and its preference for republican policies is well known.
Alaska may indeed be a conservative place, but it is also the home of many libertarians and free thinkers. Many of those freedom-loving individuals feel the state has no business telling them what they can and cannot enjoy in their own homes, and that has led to an effort to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
#4 - California
California already has a booming business in medical marijuana, but there is a strong movement to legalize the drug for recreational use. No fewer than four ballot measures could be on the ballot in 2014. Each one of those ballot initiatives would legalize the use of marijuana for users over 21 years of age.
The most radical of those measures would allow individuals to possess up to 12 pounds of cannabis. While that measure is not expected to pass, experts give good odds to the other ballot initiatives that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults.
#5 - Arizona
Advocates of legalized marijuana in Arizona have been busy gathering signatures for a petition that would place the measure on the fall 2014 ballot. Those advocates will need to gather 300,000 valid signatures by July 3, and they appear to be making good progress.
If the petition drive succeeds, Arizona voters will get a chance to weigh in on the legalization of the drug. Experts are divided about its chances, but the drive for the ballot initiative is a good indication of the success of the pro-cannabis movement.
#6 - Washington, D.C.
There is a strong drive for legalization of marijuana in the nation's capital, and advocates expect to begin gathering the signatures they will need in February or March of 2014. There are still some legal hurdles to be overcome, but if those barriers are cleared the measure to decriminalize marijuana could end up on the fall ballot.
Recent polls have shown strong support for the legalization of marijuana in Washington D.C. If those polls prove correct, the capital could become the next battleground in the fight over legalized pot.