As Colorado's weed market gets underfoot and politicians battle year after year to balance the budget deficit, it seems inevitable that more and more states are taking cue and ending the decades long prohibition on reefer. And it makes sense. Our "war on drugs" is an utter disaster and the majority of Americans believe that pot is not a dangerous, uncontrolled substance. Here' a look at the next 3 states that have a signigicant chance to fully legalize pot in 2014.
The only reason Oregon didn't pass their ballot measure in 2012 was because it was written by stoners -- that is, it was too broad. The 2012 Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA) allowed unlimited cultivation and posession of the plant, setting it apart from Colorado and Washington measures (both of which passed) that set clear limits on both.
New to the 2014 measure are limits that are identical to the medical law -- 24 ounces and 24 plants, which is more than most smokers need to get through an episode of Portlandia, so there is little doubt the measure will have much opposition. But 2014 is a midterm election which means less young voters are posed to hit the ballot boxes.
Thankfully there are going to be two measures on the ballot. New Approach Oregon (NAO) would legalize possession of eight ounces and cultivation of four plants, while creating a marijuana market regulated by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. OCTA relies on regulation from a a proposed Oregon Cannabis Commission to be appointed by the governor.
So it looks like, come November, Oregon voters will have the luxury to choose which legalization measure they prefer.
Believe it or not Alaska was one of the first states to pass medical marijuana measures back in 1998. Now, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana is getting very close to the 75,000 signatures needed to get it on the ballot in November.
"The proposed initiative will take marijuana sales out of the underground market and put them in legitimate, taxpaying businesses," Tim Hinterberger, one of the initiative's sponsors told CNN. "Replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of taxation and sensible regulation will bolster Alaska's economy by creating jobs and generating revenue for the state."
The state has a strong libertatarian foundation that will likely help push the decision to use marijuana out of the hands of politicians and into those of the citizens
The Tucson based group Safer Arizona is sponsoring an initiative to amend the state constitution to allow for legal, taxed, and regulated marijuana and industrial hemp use and commerce. Although Arizona already has a small medical marijuana industry that even their living dead governer Jan Brewer supports, it's too close to call at this point whether or not recreational use will pass in Arizona. Organizations need 300,000 signatures and though they'll likely have them by November, most are setting their sights on full legalization in 2016 due to a lack of financial backing. But just ask Bill and Ted, when it comes to getting high weirder things have happened.