Cannabis is growing like a weed throughout the U.S.
Just days ago, Illinois voted in favor of House Bill 1438, which would legalize recreational cannabis in the state by January 1, 2020. The bill would allow adults 21 and over to buy and possess up to 30 grams of cannabis. This is now the 11thstate to approve its use.
In addition, the Bill contains a provision that will expunge cannabis offenses for people convicted of possessing a small amount of the drug that were not associated with violence. In fact, according to ABC News, this could lead to 770,000 expunged convictions.
While Gov. Pritzker has not set a timeline for signing the bill into law, he did express supp0ort for the legislation and intends to sign it.
“Illinois is poised to become the first state in the nation that put equity and criminal justice reform at the heart of its approach to legalizing cannabis, and I’m grateful that the Senate has taken this important step with a bipartisan vote,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said, as quoted by the Herald Review. “Senators Steans and (Toi) Hutchinson have done tremendous work to reach this point, and I encourage the House to take decisive action to make Illinois a national leader in equity and criminal justice reform.”
Ohio Could be the Next to Legalize
Ohio may put the Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative on the November 2019 ballot, pending further review by state officials. The Arizona Marijuana Legalization Initiative even looks like it has a good shot at passage by November 2020.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy supports legislation, too.
He’s also very much aware that New Jersey could rake in nearly $1 billion in annual sales by 2023, according to a report from New Frontier Data.
Even New York could eventually legalize cannabis, despite roadblocks. For one, the state’s Department of Health found that the benefits of cannabis far outweigh the risks. And two, Gov. Andrew Cuomo favors legalization, noting that cannabis legislation remains a top priority.
However, this is just the start.
As more Americans become comfortable with cannabis and CBD related products, more states are very likely to jump on the bandwagon.
After all, according to The General Social Survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, 61% of those surveyed support legalization. That’s up from 57% in 2016. A Gallup survey found that 66% of Americans are in favor of legalization. That’s up from just 60% in 2016. A Pew survey found that 62% of Americans want to see cannabis legalization in the country, as compared to just 57% in 2015.
Those statistics are only proof that marijuana is here to stay.