More Than Half of All State Legislatures Took Up Pot Legalization This Year

More than half of all legislatures in the U.S. pursued marijuana legalization measures this year, according to a new report from the Marijuana Policy Project. Depending on who you ask, it's either further proof of marijuana’s normalization or evidence that the reform movement is waning.

Illinois legalized cannabis. New Mexico and Hawaii decriminalized possession. Georgia extended medical access. North Dakota passed some social justice reforms. But many of the attempts across 27 states to legalize failed — not just in red states like Tennessee, but also in New York and Connecticut. At best, that shows that there is more work to be done.

“This report is an attempt to mask what was by far the worst year for legalization advocates since 2011," said Kevin Sabet, head of anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (The Hill). "Parents, teachers and public health practitioners defeated bills in more than half a dozen states, including New York and New Jersey, despite being outspent by an average of 30 to one."

Nevertheless, polls are clear. More Americans than ever before — 62% according to a new poll — favor legalization of cannabis.

It’s just a matter of time.


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