It’s Appears Likely that 50% of American Adults Will be Able to Use Recreational Cannabis Come 2021
Recreational cannabis has been a hot-button topic for state legislators and governors for the last 15 years. With Illinois’ passage of a recreational cannabis bill, they are set to become the 11th state to allow adults to engage in marijuana use without the need for a prescription.
Including the District of Columbia, that makes about 30% of the nation eligible for not just decriminalization, but complete legalization.
What about 18 months from now?
January 1st, 2021 will likely see the several states putting into force new legalization bills. Ohio, Arizona, New York, New Jersey and Florida are all in the final stretches of legalizing cannabis. New York and New Jersey have had bills fall apart at the last second within the last year due to minor details, those will likely be tweaked and passed within the next 18 months.
Arizona and Ohio are likely to pass their own ballot initiatives. Ohio’s is on track for November 2019 and Arizona’s for November 2020. Both states have excellent chances of getting the majority needed to legalize cannabis.
Florida will probably be adding a ballot initiative for the November 2020 election, pushing the U.S. over the 50% of the population mark for legal cannabis use.
Beyond 18 months
It looks increasingly likely that cannabis will no longer be a Schedule I substance within the next few years, which should start bringing more state legislatures around to the fact that legal cannabis is coming and it’s here to stay. Even with the revocation of the Cole Memorandum, the Federal government, even now, does not seem to be too interested in prosecuting cannabis possession cases, saving Federal resources for those who traffic in more than just marijuana.
By legalizing marijuana, another revenue stream is taken away from those who are a major cause of the opioid epidemic, which should have a net positive impact on society even in states which will stubbornly hold on to outdated cannabis laws as long as they can.