Over the last several years, there have been changes in public opinion regarding the use of recreational marijuana. Places like Washington state and Colorado made headlines when they became forerunners in the legalization of the substance. During the 2020 election, many states had one common theme on their ballot, should recreational marijuana be legalized? It seems most American’s responded with a resounding yes. While the presidential winner has yet to be officially determined, there is no question in the public’s desire to legalize cannabis as was reflected by their favorable vote.
States that voted to legalize the substance, include South Dakota, Montana, New Jersey, and Arizona. Many people hope to see the substance legalized in all fifty states; it is clear progress is being made in this direction as 15 U.S. states have decriminalized cannabis. It appears, a large percentage of American’s are on board with legalization as voters won legalization in a landslide.
Many states look forward to revenue being generated from the taxing and sale of legalized, yet regulated marijuana. Arizona and New Jersey are expected to be two of the highest grossing states with future sales.
While at one time, marijuana was understood to be an extremely addictive, dangerous substance, research has shown differently, and public opinion has rapidly shifted. As forerunning states have proven the profitability of decriminalizing and regulating the substance, it has become an increasingly more attractive way to create revue and jobs in multiple states.
As the last rash of states has legalized the substance, it is expected that neighboring states will soon follow suit. Pennsylvania has been seriously considering the legalization of the substance after winning the battle to legalize marijuana for medical reasons, several years ago. With its near proximity to New Jersey, it is likely only a matter of time before the tide swings in the favor of legalization. Jersey is also predicted to influence the trajectory of New York’s laws in favor of legalization.
While at one time, the idea of nationwide legalization was utterly ludicrous, in the not so distant future, it is entirely possible that the substance may be decriminalized on a federal level. Each state that legalizes recreational use is a steppingstone in the direction of federal legalization. While opinions remain varied and divided on the issue, it seems the majority is speaking in favor of legalization. The irony remains that as states make new laws on marijuana use, it still remains a schedule 1 drug on the federal list of controlled substances.