Sunday, September 3, 2017
The folks at Marijuana Business Daily have recently put together a two-part series on state-level marijuana reform efforts likely to be making headlines in 2018. Part I looks at initiative campaigns, and Part II is focused on legislature-driven efforts:
"Multiple 2018 marijuana legalization campaigns already underway" discusses ballot campaigns afoot in Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Utah.
"Which state legislatures could legalize recreational, medical marijuana in 2018?" discusses New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont as possible recreational legalization states, and Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Texas as (mostly-long-)shots for medical marijuana reforms.
Though all of these potential reform states are interesting to watch, I think Michigan and New Jersey could prove to be especially important states for the future of recreational marijuana reforms nationwide. (I also believe they are the states in which reform right now seems the most likely.)
Michigan is a state that went for Prez Trump along with other rust-belt states, and it seems certain to be an important state in the 2020 Prez campaign. A vote in favor of full legalization in Michigan in 2018 could immediately impact how would-be 2020 Prez candidates talk about state marijuana reforms.
New Jersey not only could be the first state to embrace recreational marijuana reforms through the traditional legislative process, but it also could have a marijuana industry that serves huge population centers ranging from New York City to Philadelphia to even Baltimore and Washington DC. With probably a quarter of the nation's population less than an afternoon's drive from some part of New Jersey, a decision by the Garden State to start legalizing the gardening of marijuana for recreational purposes surely could have all sorts of national echoes.