Which states will legalize marijuana in 2024?
While President Biden doesn't seem interested in pushing for federal legalization any time soon, we're still on the precipice of a remarkable crossroads in early 2024: Since Ohio became the 24th state to legalize marijuana for adult use in November Almost half of all US states have gone green. Additionally, 38 states have legalized medical marijuana. And when it comes to the number of Americans living in states with cannabis use, we're officially past the halfway point.
So what do you say, Leafly Nation? Let's stay tuned!
In 2024, several more states could draft bills — or send measures to voters — to legalize cannabis or medical marijuana for adults, sending us over the hump.
Read on to find out which states we're looking at, what's unique about the measures themselves, and where these different campaigns currently stand.
A legal battle over the fate of a voter legalization initiative is underway in Florida, where the organization Smart & Safe Florida has raised $40 million for a campaign to put measures on the 2024 ballot; Almost all funds come from MMJ Pharmacy Trueelieve. The measure is light on details but legalizes possession of 3 ounces of marijuana and up to 5 grams of concentrate.
Opponents of the ballot measure believe it violates the single-issue requirement for such initiatives. The state Supreme Court heard arguments in the case in November and has until April 1 to give it the thumbs up or down. Stay tuned!
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Fortunately, Hawaii has a governor who supports legalization. Unfortunately, lawmakers in the state House of Representatives recently voted down legalization bill SB 669, even though the state Senate passed it with near-unanimous support. Hawaii's legislative sessions last two years, and advocates remain reasonably confident they can revive SB 669 in 2024. In its current form, the bill would allow medical dispensaries to become recreational markets, impose both a 10% sales tax and a 10% excise tax, legalize one-ounce possession and weed cultivation, among other things.
Over in Idaho, which has some of the most draconian marijuana laws in the country, Kind Idaho activists have until next April to collect 63,000 signatures to place a measure legalizing medical marijuana on the 2024 ballot. The measure legalizes possession of four ounces, legalizes weed cultivation, imposes a 4% excise tax and allows for an extensive list of qualifying conditions.
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Hey, you don't even have to look into the crystal ball here. In March of this year, Gov. Andy Beshear (D) signed a medical marijuana bill into law. The state will accept the licenses and establish the program in 2024; it will launch on January 1, 2025.
Will the third time be the charm? A team of tireless advocates in Nebraska are once again pushing to place a medical marijuana initiative on the 2024 ballot. They have until July to collect 87,000 signatures for two separate measures; One of them provides legal protection for patients, the other requires the state to establish regulations for a medical program. If they then meet the signature requirements, activists will likely have to contend (again) with the state's remarkably prohibitionist legislature and 17th-century governor. Good chance, Nebraska!
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Even though Pennsylvania has one of the country's most vocal pro-legalization senators and a pro-legalization governor, and even though all but one of its neighbors have legalized, lawmakers in the Keystone State have been unable to pass a bill across the finish line. The long and short of it? Enough Republicans won't budge to get a bill through the state legislature, and Democrats can't unite behind a single proposal. Hopefully 2024 is the year PA can break the impasse and unite with its neighbors in marijuana marriage.
Proponents of legalization in South Dakota won’t take “no” for an answer. In 2020, the Mount Rushmore State voted 52-48 to legalize cannabis and medical marijuana for adult use, but the state's prohibitionist (and arguably anti-Democratic) governor, Kristi Noem (R), managed to pass the measure to overthrow adult consumption. Then a separate measure failed at the ballot box in 2022. Now two different groups of activists are collecting signatures to put separate legalization measures on the 2024 ballot.
Did we miss a state? Leave a comment below and let us know. Stay tuned to Leafly News for updates on legalization in all of these states as we move toward the 2024 elections!