2016 Pot Predictions: Where Will Weed Be Legal Next?
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 12/28/2015 in Medical Marijuana Laws
Where Will Recreational Marijuana Be Legal Next?
As we get ready to say goodbye to 2015, and celebrate the start of 2016, its time to look ahead, and make predictions of what will happen to pot, in the new year.
2016 Pot Prediction: Nevada will vote YES to legalization
Legalization initiatives are well-underway, as the Marijuana Policy Project-backed Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol qualified for the ballot last December, already. Which means that by the time the 2016 Election Day finally arrives, organizers will have had almost two years to gather the necessary support and votes. Despite there being no recent state polls on legalization, the number was already over 54% in support, in 2013. It is reasonable to assume that those numbers have continued to grow in the interim, and that marijuana legalization is within Nevada’s reach.
2016 Pot Prediction: Vermont will vote YES to legalization
Vermont looks to be the front runner for next state to legalize pot through legislative process. This is years in the making, and it has the support of key state political figures, including Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) and House Speaker Shap Smith (D). And considering legislature hearings are focusing on how to legalize marijuana next year, not if, it is highly likely Vermont will legalize marijuana, in 2016.
2016 Pot Prediction: Arizona will vote YES to legalization
The Marijuana Policy Project-backed Campaign to Legalize Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona needs to collect 150,000 signatures, by July 2016 in order to qualify for the ballot – they announced last week that they have already collected more 100,000 showing that they are well on their way to the ballot. And considering that poll results from June 2015, showed support at 53% it is likely that once on the ballot, voters will pass the measure to legalize marijuana.
2016 Pot Prediction: Maine will vote YES to legalization
Although there were initially two initiative campaigns competing against each other, the Marijuana Policy Project-backed Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has no joined forces with Legalize Maine, both already having gathered more than 40,000 raw signatures each, before merging. The campaign will need 61,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot, but has until February 1 to gather them. And with poll results in April 2015 showing support already at 65% it is extremely likely that once the initiative has secured its spot on the ballot, Maine voters will legalize marijuana.
2016 Pot Prediction: Massachusetts will vote YES to legalization
Massachusetts has two legalization initiatives running concurrently, the MPP-backed Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, and the homegrown Bay State Repeal. MPP-backed Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol reported earlier this month that they have already collected more than 100,000 signatures – it only needed 64,750 signatures to qualify, ensuring that at least one initiative will be on next year’s ballot. Poll results from 2014 showed support for legalization on at 41% however considering Massachusetts voters previously supported medical marijuana, and decriminalization initiatives, it is highly likely that Massachusetts voters will legalize marijuana.
2016 Pot Prediction: Rhode Island will vote YES to legalization, eventually
Recent polls from April 2015, showed support at 57% for legalization , taxation, and regulation, of marijuana. And although the legislature took up a legalization bill this year, it has been held up for further study by both chambers of the Judiciary Committee. Once the legislation finally acknowledges the voters and actually moves, it is likely Rhode Island will legalize marijuana, however there is no guarantee that it will happen anytime soon.
2016 Pot Prediction: Michigan will vote NO to legalization
Michigan is another state with two competing campaigns, however neither campaign seems to have the support necessary to gather the required 252,000 valid voter signatures, necessary to qualify. While the Michigan Cannabis Coalition announced, in October 2015, that they had gathered more than 200,000 signatures, they made a “strategic decision” to suspend petitioning, temporarily. They have until the end of January to collect the remaining signatures. The Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee (MI Legalize) announced this month that they are 90,000 signatures short of their goal, but only have until the end of December to secure them. Considering the lack of apparent support, it is not likely to that either initiative will even so much as make it to the ballot.
2016 Pot Prediction: California, Cannabis Wild Card
The oldest medical marijuana state – the state that literally started the movement – the state that thought it would be the first recreational state with it’s failed Regulate 19 “Regulate, Control, & Tax Cannabis Act”, in 2010. Now, second time running for legalization, California has more than 18 legalization initiatives at play, albeit some are just various versions of the same initiative. However it seems unlikely that most will secure the 365,000 signatures needed to qualify. The most likely bet out the bunch is an initiative sponsored by the tech billionaire, Sean Parker, with backing from the Marijuana Policy Project, and the Drug Policy Alliance. But neither the Sean Parker initiative, or the state activist organized, Reform CA initiative, have been cleared for signature gathering – which means they will be pushed to a tight timeline, because they only have until June 30 to gather the necessary signatures. However, considering the latest June poll results show 54% in support, it is highly likely that California will legalize cannabis, if they can make it to the ballot. It is also highly likely that Sean Parker, the Napster tech-genius billionaire, will make sure that they get the signatures they need for California to finally LEGALIZE WEED!