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Will Godfrey Will Godfrey

US Marijuana Laws: The Current State of Play


Ballot initiatives look set to spread marijuana legalization further across the country later this year.

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US marijuana laws will continue to change dramatically this year. So far, Colorado and Washington state have fully legalized, while a total of 23 states, plus DC, allow marijuana for medical use. To help us keep up, Vox has published a handy guide to the states where ballot initiatives will be put to voters on November 4:

Alaska will become the first red state to embrace full legalization if voters there back Issue 2. The latest polls indicate a lead of between three and eight percent for the pro-legalization camp.

DC, which just made pot possession punishable by only a small fine, could soon fully legalize. Initiative 71 has yet to be confirmed on the ballot, but 60,000 supporting signatures have been submitted. A recent poll shows residents at almost two-to-one in favor.

Florida has its own Issue 2, to legalize medical marijuana for patients with one of a list of “debilitating” conditions, as well as allowing some doctor discretion. Polls put support between 66 and 70%.

Oregon voters will get a second shot at full legalization, having rejected a previous proposal in 2012 (which pro-legalization advocates described as badly written). This year’s version has the backing of the Drug Policy Alliance and early polling indications are favorable.

This map shows how things stand nationwide: