Marijuana legalization could be up for approval in at least a dozen states in the United States this legislative session. But pro-legalization bills are still pending and advocates are waiting for the legislators to return from their holiday break to finalize signature count.
U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions has stated that he is planning to control the legalization process to disrupt criminal organization, reduce growing drug crisis, and suppress violent crime across America.
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Vermont has Posed a New Way for Legalization
Vermont has already made history by becoming the first state to legalize recreational marijuana at the legislative level. In fact, the bill to legalize up to one ounce of weed and the possession of up to six plants is almost finalized, and will probably get the approval.
With Christie Out, Weed Could Now Enter New Jersey
Or at least it is looking that way. Its new governor is a Democrat and has a mission of making recreational marijuana a reality. So, it is possible that the signs off on a legalizing bill.
Democratic Assembly member, Reed Gusciora plans to introduce a bill through the state legislature by early February. After passing the bill, residents of New Jersey can possess up to an ounce of cannabis and up to three mature marijuana plants.
A total of six plants would be allowed in total per person and only 15 growers would be allowed in the legislation’s first year. The bill, which was first introduced last year, and reinforced recently would legalize possession of up to an ounce of cannabis in the 21-plus demographic and would create enforcement and licensing system for growers and dispensaries. However, the bill doesn’t share any update for growing cannabis at home.
Michigan With Old-Schooled Ballot Initiative
While New Jersey and Vermont are taking marijuana legalization in quite a bold way, Michigan is still sticking to the tried-and-true ballot initiative method that has brought recreational cannabis in Massachusetts, California, and seven other states.
Although, Virginia failed to pass two bills in 2017 as some lawmakers suggested that more research be done before legalizing cannabis. But, things now are picking up.
Ralph Northam, the new governor of Virginia has made a strong call for the state to ratify cannabis plants. A Democratic Senator has filed a decriminalization bill to trade out criminal proceeding for a $50 fine for first-time offenders and a maximum of $250 fine for violations.
The bill ought to keep the current fine to $50 but can also include first offenders punishable by up to 30 days in jail.
Oklahoma Could Make Medical Marijuana a Reality
More than 20 states still lack medical marijuana laws, but Oklahoma could be on its way to legalizing cannabis. It is possible that there is a vote during the primary elections in June 2019 in compliance with an approved petition submitted in 2016.
If you’re in a state that is making a major decision on marijuana legalization, make sure you vote in favor of cannabis laws. Medical cannabis is increasingly being used by millions of Americans, even though it is still illegal at the Federal level.
New research and studies have are now convincing doctors and patients about the therapeutic benefits of cannabis therapy.
Has your state legalized medical cannabis? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.