Seven U.S. States Likely to Legalize Cannabis in 2024
In recent years the push to legalize the recreational use of marijuana has picked up considerable steam. There are now 23 states that have decriminalized recreational use of marijuana and medical use of marijuana is now allowed in 40 states. But the fact that the federal government still classifies weed as a Schedule 1 substance right alongside heroin and that recreational use is still illegal in 27 states means there’s a lot of work to do before the fight is won. In this post, the team at the Smoking Buddha smoke shop in Parker take a look at states likely to legalize cannabis in 2023 or 2024.
States Likely to Legalize Weed in 2024
Every year sees progress in the struggle to decriminalize weed in the US, but the fact that legalization efforts fell flat in Hawaii and New Hampshire in early 2023 indicates there’s still plenty of work to do. That said, the following states are now considered prime candidates to be the next that decriminalize cannabis.
In 2022 Governor Andrew Beshear signed an executive order allowing state residents with certain medical conditions to possess and use marijuana for therapeutic reasons. That’s the good news. The bad news is he had to do that because outright legalization was getting nowhere in the state legislature.
Still, 3 new bills aimed at decriminalizing weed to varying degrees have been introduced in 2023 and many pundits are predicting that one of them will make its way through to the Governor’s desk in the months to come. So who knows? Maybe in 2024 Kentuckians will be able to purchase weed at a dispensary as easily as a bong in their local smoke shop.
Texas has been taking baby steps toward legalization in recent years. In 2015 it passed the Compassionate Use Program which allowed medical marijuana use in certain cases. In 2019 and 2021 it expanded the number of eligible medical conditions and just recently a law was passed decriminalizing possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana.
Still, there has been little progress toward decriminalizing the recreational use of marijuana in the Lone Star State. But that may be about to change. Many observers expect Texas to take up the issue of full legalization in the 2024 legislative session.
While the limited medical use of marijuana has been legal for some time in Florida the state legislature has dragged its feet on decriminalization. Different measures have been considered in the past few years but none have gotten any meaningful traction. However, 2024 may be the year everything changes.
A petition to legalize the recreational use of cannabis in Florida has made it through a series of court challenges and will be on the ballot in 2024. Passage seems likely as nearly 60% of Florida residents in a recent poll said they would support legalizing recreational marijuana use for adults.
Nebraska remains one of the few states that allows neither recreational nor medical marijuana use. The only movement toward a loosening of state laws in recent years came when the state reduced the penalty for possession of up to 1 ounce of pot from jail time to a $300 fine.
The state makes this list of states that may legalize soon, however, due to the Nebraska Cannabis Legalization Initiative which is slated to appear on the state’s November 2024 ballot, right next to the presidential race. At this point, polls indicate the initiative is likely to pass, but the race is tight and it could go either way.
Ohio permits the use of marijuana for medical purposes, but only with tight restrictions. While the issue of decriminalizing recreational use comes up regularly, legislators seem to have little stomach for actually doing anything about it, letting bill after bill languish in committees indefinitely. However, as is the case in several other states, voters have decided to take matters into their own hands by providing enough signatures to get the Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative (OMLI) on the ballot in November 2023.
Also known as “Issue 2” the OMLI proposes to legalize marijuana use for adults over 21 but with some tight regulations in place. It is impossible to say which way the vote will go but recent polls suggest that more than half of all voters support legalizing recreational pot use.
South Dakota is in the midst of a fight over legalization that has raged now for several years. The pro-legalization camp always comes out on top in voter preference surveys but the state government is not cooperating.
Things got to the point that in 2020 voters passed a marijuana legalization ballot measure 54% to 46%, but it was quickly overturned by the state Supreme Court following a legal challenge. So why does South Dakota make our list? Because legalization forces in the state stand a good chance of putting the issue back on the ballot in 2024 where it is likely to win once again.
There have been a number of bills introduced in the Tennessee legislature in recent years aimed at decriminalizing recreational use of marijuana. Perhaps most notable was the Free All Cannabis for Tennesseans Act of 2022. That piece of legislation would have empowered the Tennessee Department of Agriculture to grow, process, and sell marijuana for recreational use.
Unfortunately, that bill wound up stalling in the state senate. And while that is not the outcome pro-legalization forces were hoping for other bills have subsequently been introduced that would put the question to voters in 2024. Some of these bills are simply designed to take the pulse of the electorate on the issue while others would call for outright legalization. It remains to be seen which of these ballot questions will make it to the voting booth next year.
Trust the Smoking Buddha for the Best Bongs and Glass Pipes in Parker
Those of us in Parker are lucky. Colorado was among the first states to allow recreational use of marijuana. So why not celebrate the common sense environment in the Rocky Mountain State by stopping by the Smoking Buddha smoke shop and checking out our world-class selection of glass pipes, bongs, heady glass, vapes, and more.
We’re open 7 days a week for your convenience and if you need directions just search for “smoke shops near me”, or better yet, give us a call at (888) 316-4572.