By John K. Ross – The march towards good sense and marijuana freedom continues apace. To give a glimpse of what’s in store for 2014, here’s a 50-state guide to legislation and ballot measures that are in the works thus far this year.
By my count, 13 states may follow Colorado and Washington State’s lead and legalize recreational use—either at the ballot box or in state capitols. Medical marijuana is on the table in 16 states. Five states may decriminalize possession, replacing criminal penalties with civil fines.
Of the 20 states that do not have a push underway this year, 12 have already OK’d medical marijuana or decriminalization. Additionally, activists in at least three states with nothing currently underway are organizing 2016 initiative drives.
Hawaii – Nothing
House Majority Floor Leader Rida Cabanilla (D-Waipahu) has introduced a bill directing a working group to put together a plan to allow farmers to grow marijuana for export. The bill does not allow for recreational use, though 66 percent of Hawaiian voters would support such a measure according to a poll.
A full 77 percent no longer support criminal penalties for possession.
Last year, legislators liberalized the state’s 14-year-old medical marijuana law, increasing the amount of cannabis patients are allowed to possess. In 2010, police in Hawaii made 1,448 arrests for marijuana possession.