Taking stock of 2020 marijuana reform prospects in various states (and noting some significant omissions)

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US-legalization-prospects-2020
Jeff
Smith
over
at
MJBizDaily
has

this
helpful
article

(with
a
helpful
graphic)
under
the
headline “Several
states
could
legalize
cannabis
sales
in
2020
as
marijuana
industry
eyes
lucrative
East
Coast
market.” 
The
article
maps
out
the
ten
or
so
states
that
might
move
forward
with
adult-use
legalization
regimes
in
2020
and
also
reviews
the
handful
of
states
in
which
medical
marijuana
legalization
might
move
forward
this
year. 
Here
is
a
snippet
from
the
start
of
the
piece:

Up
to
a
dozen
states
could
legalize
adult-use
or
medical
marijuana
in
2020
through
their
legislatures
or
ballot
measures,
although
only
about
a
handful
will
likely
do
so.

Much
of
the
cannabis
industry’s
focus
will
home
in
on
a
possible recreational
marijuana
domino
effect

along
the
East
Coast,
which
could
create
billions
of
dollars
in
business
opportunities. 
Adult-use
legalization
efforts
in
New
York
and
New
Jersey
stalled
in
2019,
but
optimism
has
rekindled
this
year.

Potential
legalization
activity
runs
from
the
Southwest
to
the
Dakotas
to
the
Deep
South.
Mississippi
in
particular
has
a
business-friendly medical
cannabis
initiative
 that
has
qualified
for
the
2020
ballot.

If
even
a
handful
of
these
state
marijuana
reforms
move
forward
this
year,
it
becomes
that
much
more
likely
that
some
form
of
federal
reform
will
have
to
follow.
That
reality
is
one
of
the
theme
of

this
lengthy
new


Politico

article

which
also
provides
an
accounting
of
potential
state
reforms
under
the
full
headline “Marijuana
legalization
may
hit
40
states.
Now
what?:
Changes
in
state
laws
could
usher
in
even
more
confusion
for
law
enforcement
and
escalate
the
pressure
on
Congress
to
act.”
Here
is
an
excerpt:

More
than
40
U.S.
states
could
allow
some
form
of
legal
marijuana
by
the
end
of
2020,
including
deep
red
Mississippi
and
South
Dakota

and
they’re
doing
it
with
the
help
of
some
conservatives. 
State
lawmakers
are
teeing
up
their
bills
as
legislative
sessions
kick
off
around
the
country,
and
advocates
pushing
ballot
measures
are
racing
to
collect
and
certify
signatures
to
meet
deadlines
for
getting
their
questions
to
voters.

Should
they
succeed,
every
state
could
have
marijuana
laws
on
the
books
that
deviate
from
federal
law,
but
people
could
still
be
prosecuted
if
they
drive
across
state
lines
with
their
weed,
because
the
total
federal
ban
on
marijuana
isn’t
expected
to
budge
any
time
soon. 
The
changes
could
usher
in
even
more
confusion
for
law
enforcement
and
escalate
the
pressure
on
Congress
to
act. 
Federal
bills
are
crawling
through
Congress,
with
Senate
Majority
Leader
Mitch
McConnell
firmly
against
legalization….

“We’re
cautiously
optimistic
that
we
can
win
more
marijuana
reform
ballot
initiatives
on
one
Election
Day
than
on
any
previous
Election
Day,”
said
Matthew
Schweich,
deputy
director
of
the
Marijuana
Policy
Project. 
Schweich
cited
growing
public
support
for
the
issue
among
both
liberals
and
conservatives. 
The
measures
that
make
the
ballot
could
drive
voter
turnout
at
the
polls
and
by
extension
affect
the
presidential
election.

Liberal
states
that
allow
ballot
petitions
have
largely
voted
to
legalize
marijuana,
including
California,
Oregon
and
Massachusetts. 
“Now,
we’re
venturing
into
new,
redder
territory
and
what
we’re
finding
is
voters
are
ready
to
approve
these
laws
in
those
states,”
said
Schweich,
who,
along
with
leading
legalization
campaigns
in
Maine,
Massachusetts
and
Michigan,
served
as
the
co-director
of
the
medical
marijuana
legalization
campaign
in
Utah. 
“If
we
can
pass
medical
marijuana
in
Utah,
we
can
pass
it
anywhere.”

National
organizations
like
his
are
eschewing
swing
states
like
Florida
and
Ohio,
where
the
costs
of
running
a
ballot
campaign
are
high
during
a
presidential
election.
They
are
intentionally
targeting
states
with
smaller
populations. 
For
advocates,
running
successful
campaigns
in
six
less-populous
states
means
potentially
12
more
senators
representing
legal
marijuana
states. 
“The
cost
of
an
Ohio
campaign
could
cover
the
costs
of
[four
to
six] other
ballot
initiative
campaigns.
Our
first
goal
is
to
pass
laws
in
as
many
places
as
we
can,”
Schweich
said.

They
can’t
take
anything
for
granted,
however. 
In
Florida,
where
polling
says
two-thirds
of
voters
want
to
legalize
pot,
one
effort
to
gather
enough
signatures
for
a
2020
ballot
measure
collapsed
last
year,
and
a
second
gave
up
on
Tuesday,
saying
there’s
not
enough
time
to
vet
700,000
signatures. 
Organizers
are
looking
to
2022. 
And
many
legislative
efforts
to
legalize
marijuana
came
up
short
in
2019,
including
in
New
York
and
New
Jersey. 
Those
efforts
were
derailed
in
part
over
concerns
about
how
to
help
people
disproportionately
harmed
by
criminal
marijuana
prosecutions,
despite
broad
support
from
Democratic-controlled
legislatures
and
the
governors.

I
fully
understand
the
strategic
and
economic
reasons
why
MPP
and
other
national
marijuana
reform
activist
groups
have
chosen
not
to
focus
on
big
purple
states
like
Florida
and
Ohio
for
full
legalization
campaigns.
But
these
two
states
have
unique
long-standing
and
well-earned
reputations
as
national
swing
states.
Only
if
(when?)
these
kinds
of
big
(reddish-purple)
states
go
the
route
of
full
legalization
will
I
think
federal
reform
becomes
unavoidable.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/marijuana_law/2020/01/taking-stock-of-2020-marijuana-reform-prospects-in-various-states-and-noting-some-significant-omissi.html

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