Marijuana Legalization 2018: Which States Might consider Cannabis Laws This Year?

The legal marijuana market could blaze across the United States in 2018.


The legal marijuana market could blaze across the United States in 2018.

At least 12 states are poised to consider marijuana legalization this year, with more possibly joining as legislative sessions continue, making 2018 a potentially pivotal year in the burgeoning bud movement. Some states are even preparing to take unprecedented legislative steps to make marijuana—either recreational or medical—legal and more easily accessible.

"With over 60 percent of Americans now supporting the full legalization of marijuana for adults, the momentum behind marijuana law reform will not only continue but increase as we head into 2018," Erik Altieri, executive director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, told Newsweek.

Vermont: Recreational Marijuana

Vermont lawmakers are anticipating a landmark move for marijuana advocates in early 2018. The state will have the first governor and Legislature to legalize recreational weed, as opposed to a citizen-driven ballot initiative.

The Democrat-controlled Legislature approved recreational marijuana in May 2017, but Republican Governor Phil Scott vetoed the measure. He instead ordered the creation of a bipartisan commission to study public health issues surrounding the proposed marijuana legalization, such as how to measure driving impairment and the impact on existing substance abuse problems like the opioid crisis. In December 2016, Scott told Vermont Public Radio that he was "comfortable" approving a recreational marijuana law in 2018. 

"A number of states have already legalized it surrounding us," Scott said in December. "Whether we like it or not, it's here and it's being utilized, so we have to take steps to promote the general public."

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