Which States will be the Last to Legalize Cannabis?
With Illinois being the latest state to legalize recreational cannabis, the tally now stands at 11. Welcome to the club Windy City! I remember sitting in my friend’s garage as a hooligan teenager, ripping bong hits and philosophizing, “Yo man, you think weed will ever be legal?” A far off look would introduce the reply, like some vision of heaven was being presented in his mind’s eye before, “Nah man, it’ll never happen.” Yup, we went deep, real deep. But the vision has come to pass, (depending on where you live.) People are finally waking up and beginning to realize that cannabis should be treated like any other substance.
33 states also permit the use of cannabis for medical use, so times really are changing. I never fail to chuckle at how far things have come when I’m out for a Sunday stroll and I see an advertisement for a dispensary. It’s amazing how far we’ve come and I think eventually it’s going to be legal across the board, but there’s still work to be done.
Using information provided by websites like Norml and the Marijuana Policy Project, I decided to do some browsing and see what states seemed to be the least likely to legalize cannabis for recreational use, (if at all.) You may find it necessary to cross your fingers and throw a little shout-out to whatever deity it is you pray to; chances are that if your state is on this list, it’s going to be some time before you can waltz on down to your local dispensary and replenish your stash.
Bad news if your a resident of the Yellowhammer State. While a Senate committee recently approved a bill that would allow the use of medical cannabis in certain cases, there’s a strong push back and the bill is going to be heavily scrutinized if it ever gets to the floor of the senate, if it ever does. Laws against cannabis consumers are harsh in this state. The sale of any amount will cost you a felony conviction, 2-20 in the slammer, and a maximum fine of 30 grand. More into smoking, not selling? Getting caught with flower will cost you a misdemeanor, maximum 1 year sentence and 6,000 dollar fine, however, if your busted with concentrate it’s an automatic felony conviction, 366 day to 10 year prison sentence, and up to a 15,000 dollar fine.
Better leave the vape at home boys.
This state may share a border with Colorado but culturally, these two states may as well be on different planets. Being the 2nd state in the US to ban cannabis in 1915, it may come as no surprise that in the state that gave us John Smith and Mormonism only 6.1%, reportedly, of adults use cannabis. This may be one of the reasons the legislative headhonchos have decided that should medicinal cannabis ever be legal in the state that it should not be smoked to alleviate pain, nor should a medicinal user be allowed to grow their own medicine, according to one Salt Lake Tribune article.
The Equality State is not about equality when it comes to the rights of US citizens to consume cannabis as a recreational or medical constituent. Being pulled up by the fuzz after you’ve just hung out with scoob and the gang can earn you a misdemeanor with up to 6 months jail time. Rolling with your vape? If you’ve got anything more than 0.3 grams of concentrate you’ll be labeled a felon and can spend up to 5 years in jail.
Things likely aren’t going to change any time soon either. Wyoming has some of the most stringent ballot initiative requirements in the country, a fact to which the state has not seen a public initiative reach the ballot since 1991. In 2016 legislation to decriminalize the possession of less than an ounce of cannabis failed. For the third year in a row.
Sorry Wyomans, looks you’d all just better pass on the grass.
Fellow Cornhuskers, lend me your ears! In 1979 the state decriminalized the possession of 1 oz or less of cannabis to a 300$ fine, however cannabis for any purpose is illegal in this state. The local constabulary is so propagandist entrenched against weed that when Colorado legalized cannabis in 2013 they blamed a sudden spike in crime on the act.
Following the trend of uncool ways in which a government should treat its ill citizens, a strict 2016 bill that would have only allowed those with extreme illnesses, (cancer, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C), to use cannabis encountered stiff opposition when brought before the senate. The bill fell to the wayside.
Even if cannabis is ever legalized in Nebraska, each county can choose to “stay dry” if they so choose. In effect, it may one day be legal to use both medicinal and recreational cannabis, just impossible to actually purchase it anywhere in the state.
Not cool Nebraska, not cool.
How any official in their right mind can criminalize a lifesaving herb with such savagery is a mystery to this writer. In the words of the late, great, Jimmy Carter, “Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against the possession of marijuana in private, for personal use.”