Number One - California:
It’s sort of amazing that what is often considered the nation’s most liberal lifestyle state still hasn’t legalized pot, but it’s only a matter of time. The powerful conservative forces in Sacramento and elsewhere have been able to stave off things for a good while now, but pubic opinion no longer seems to be as strongly in their favor as nation-wide, voter’s attitudes towards recreational pot use keep growing more tolerant and resigned to the fact that eventually pot will be legalized in all of the U.S. Several recent polls amongst CA voters back up this change in the wind. With a narrow defeat of Ballot Propositon 19 (53.5% vs. 46.5%) back in 2010, there is no doubt that the next ballot battle is going to be something worthy of a Bush vs. Gore type finish, but I predict that Pot Power is going to smoke the opposition in the end. The California cannabis initiative has already been cleared by the state to gather the necessary 500,000 signatures of registered voters by Feb 24 in order to qualify for the general election balloting on November 14, 2014, and it is well on its way towards that goal.
Number Two – Oregon:
The last legalization drive, Measure 80, fell short in 2012 (55%-45%), but 2014 is shaping up for another showdown. Multiple polls have shown that as high as 63% of voters are now in favor of legalization and taxation of this soon to be cash crop. Let’s face it, politically, Oregon and it’s northern sister, Washington, are usually connected at the hip, so the pressure on Oregon is even higher these days to follow suit.
Number Three – Maine:
The Pine Tree state will soon become even more friendly to some “trees” of a different nature. Last November’s Portland, Maine green light for recreational pot use has set the state legislature into a whirlwind not seen since lumberjack Paul Bunyan and his ox were clearing timber. The most recent Public Policy Poll (PPP) shows that currently, 48 percent of Mainers are pro-Pot. Portland is the state’s largest and most important city, so the gauntlet has been dropped for the rest of the state, for the fight to come. It may not be too much longer before Mainers can follow up their fresh lobster feast or morning stack of pancakes with a good smoke of weed. Pass the pot-laced maple syrup please.
The Tide is “High” for the Future:
Suffice it to say that with the strong and clear stance taken by both Colorado and Washington electorate and lawmakers, the flood gate of momentum has really come crashing open for the rest of the nation to consider like never before. This “opening up” of attitudes and general trend of relaxing from intolerance of pot smoking will strongly favor different voting results the next time around when the ballot initiatives resurface. Face it folks, the push for legalization is not just going to pack it up and go home.
What does seem clear is that the “greener” states seem to be leading the way. These are generally the same type of places where environmental issues or tolerance of same sex marriage is very important. I’d expect places like Alaska, Hawaii, Vermont and Rhode Island to soon be right up there in following suit once California, Oregon and Maine jump aboard.
Safe prediction on which state would be the last hold-out…Yep, you guessed it, Alabama. It may still be a long while before the land of “Roll Tide” is really allowed to roll. ;)