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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.

14 Substance

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: