Safety and OSHA News

Next 5 states to legalize recreational marijuana

In another year, the number of states legalizing small amounts of recreational marijuana could double from two to four. That means employers in those states will have to carefully review their employee drug policies. 

Here is a list of five states where pot laws similar to those in Colorado and Washington could be adopted soon, from more to less likely:

  1. Washington DC: OK, it’s not a state, but our nation’s capital seems to be the next most likely place to legalize small amounts of weed. A referendum is on the ballot Nov. 4, and a recent poll showed 63% of voters in favor.
  2. Oregon: Same situation as Washington DC – a measure is on the November ballot, and a poll shows 57% of likely voters in favor. The experience of legalization in its neighbor to the north, Washington, may have an effect on the outcome of this vote.
  3. Alaska: Once again, it’s on the ballot in November, but public opinion seems much more evenly split there. Polls show anywhere from 48% to 52% in favor. However, even in the poll where less than half (48%) were in favor, approving legal pot was in the lead. A number of voters called themselves “undecided” on the issue.
  4. Massachusetts: Efforts are underway to get the question on the 2016 ballot in this state. Some wonder whether Massachusetts could also become the first state to legalize recreational pot via legislative vote as opposed to how it was approved in Colorado and Washington, by referendum. One of the benefits of legalization is said to be state sales tax revenue. It’s been said that lawmakers in Massachusetts, nicknamed Taxachusetts, have never run into a tax that they didn’t like.
  5. Rhode Island: Bills to legalize marijuana have received bipartisan support in this state, putting it in the running with Massachusetts to become the first state to approve legal pot legislatively instead of at the ballot box. And a recent poll showed Rhode Island is the state with the highest percentage of pot users, which might be just enough to get legislators to move on the measure.

Other states listed by advocates as having a chance at legalizing pot include Montana and Nevada.

What are you thoughts about legalizing recreational marijuana? Let us know in the comments.

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