Researcher forecasts next 5 states likely to OK recreational marijuana

Researcher forecasts next 5 states likely to OK recreational marijuana

With laws going into effect last week that legalized recreational marijuana in both Alaska and Washington, D.C., a researcher into the history of cannabis' acceptance has predicted the next five U.S. states where voters could be inclined to approve marijuana use for relaxation and enjoyment.

Barney Warf, professor of geography at the University of Kansas, is the author of "High Points: An Historical History of Cannabis," published in the peer-reviewed journal Geographical Review in September 2014.

Warf said legalization can be "hard to predict," but he made his forecast of states expected to legalize based on their current laws and voter leanings.

"All five of these states have legal and tend to be liberal or libertarian in voting patterns," he said.

The next five states where recreational marijuana could be legal:

  • California: "Recreational cannabis almost was legalized in the past, and California voters are sure to do so in 2016."
  • Nevada: "Nevada shares the libertarian sentiments of Alaska."
  • Vermont: "There's a strong liberal tradition there in Vermont."
  • Illinois: "'The Land of Lincoln' is surprisingly progressive on this issue."
  • New York: "New York legalized medical marijuana last year."

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More information: Warf, B. (2014), "High Points: An Historical Geography of Cannabis." Geographical Review, 104: 414–438. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2014.12038.x
Citation: Researcher forecasts next 5 states likely to OK recreational marijuana (2015, March 4) retrieved 16 September 2019 from
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Mar 04, 2015
I would be very surprised if this actually happens in Illinois, considering the nanny state that it is. The draconian medical marijuana laws of Illinois are just terrible due to all the restrictions they come with. No matter; I'm looking forward to the day when this has been accomplished everywhere.

Mar 04, 2015
I live in Illinois and we just elected a Republican governor. Based on his view of the subject I would be very surprised if we can get it done here but if we could it would make Illinois a little more tolerable place to live. Illinois is over $127 Billion in debt and any contribution to lowering that (other than a punitive taxes attached to owning a business or personal possessions) would be openly welcome. It's sad that some people believe it's an offensive substance but the fact is it has a positive effect for some people. The only reason the medical community would not want it legalized is to prevent it from competing with THEIR drugs. That is the sad state of the world we live in.

Mar 04, 2015
No way Illinois. I live here and know a lot about this issue. The medical vote won by 1%. Citizens do not vote on this issue state congress does. Gov. Rauner against legalization of both medical and rec.. The medical program is already the toughest for all medical States. If it is it wont be until 2020. Remember Cali legalized med 20 years ago and still there.

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