5 States Could Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use This Year — Here’s What We Know

Article by Ben Gilbert, Business Insider


Nearly half of the US has already legalized marijuana for either medical or recreational use. This November, nine states could continue the trend.

Of those nine states, five have ballot initiatives that could result in legal recreational use. Most significantly, California could legalize recreational use — thus making the entire West Coast a legal enclave for recreational cannabis.

All the initiatives below will be voted on this November, alongside the presidential election. Here’s everything we know:

1. Massachusetts
In Massachusetts on November 8, voters will choose yes or no on Question 4 — a bill to legalize the recreational use, possession, cultivation, and sale of marijuana. The bill calls for regulation along the lines of alcohol, if passed.

Though Massachusetts is a long-running blue state, the legalization effort in the commonwealth faces serious opposition from sitting leadership in both parties. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh oppose recreational legalization. The two joined Attorney General Maura Healey in a Boston Globe op-ed this March opposing the measure:

“Our state has already decriminalized the drug for personal use, and we’ve made it legally available for medical use. The question before us now is whether marijuana should be fully legal and widely available for commercial sale. We think the answer is ‘no.'”

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