Are New Englanders More Marijuana Friendly than the Rest of the U.S.?
Some media outlets have called the New England portion of the U.S. a marijuana “hotbed” in 2016. This is the heaviest concentrated area of the country with marijuana (both recreational and medical) on November voting ballots. New England state officials, including governors, senators and state representatives are showing their support for legal marijuana as well.
Here’s a quick Leafist breakdown of the stances in each of the New England states with marijuana initiatives on ballots in November 2016. Residents support legal recreational marijuana more than some state legislatures.
There is far less opposition for legal recreational marijuana among New England residents than any other region in the U.S.
Connecticut’s House Bill 5209 is quite simple. Introduced by Representative Juan Candelaria, it would legalize the use, possession, growth, and sale of marijuana for adults ages 21 and older.
Rep. Candelaria said:
“I’m going to be pushing very hard. I’m going to be engaging my leadership into conversation to at least allow a public hearing.”
Now, slight controversy does exist in CT as the Governor, Dannel Malloy supports only medical marijuana.
Five representatives co-sponsor H.B. 5209.
Recent polls show that there is widespread support for legal recreational marijuana in Maine. Question 1 shows the most support from millennial voters in recent polls, with the least support from those ages 65 and older. A vote tally approving Question 1, in combination with Massachusetts if it passes there too, will be a pivotal point in the efforts to end national prohibition.
Question 1 allows adults ages 21 and older to use and possess marijuana for personal use. Marijuana would be classified as an agricultural product in the state and would be regulated and taxed as such.
Question 4 will be on November ballots in Massachusetts and shows 55-percent support legal recreational marijuana just a few weeks before the November election cycle. In terms of private, in-home use, 84-percent of voters said it wouldn’t bother them if responsible adults used marijuana in their own homes.
New Hampshire currently allows medical marijuana. The medical marijuana program is hoping for expansion when legislature returns to session in 2017 as four new bills to add new conditions are being drawn up for submittal. Two years ago, a marijuana legalization bill passed the state’s House, but fizzled out in the Senate.
New Hampshire is the only New England state that has not decriminalized simple marijuana possession yet.
The Rest of New England?
Vermont did attempt to pass legal marijuana regulation through state legislation, but it stalled and ultimately failed. They’ll try again in 2017 as new lawmakers take office. The majority of residents in states like New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island all support and want legal recreational marijuana by at least 55-percent in each states.
2017 is expected to be a year of victories toward the end of marijuana prohibition as there are annual elections in every state. Marijuana could appear on ballots during special election cycles.
What this means for Prohibition
Well, what this essentially means for prohibition is that it is coming to an end. As more states legalize recreational and medical marijuana, the federal government and DEA are going to be forced to make some changes. The will of the people cannot be ignored – and a majority of the American people want legal marijuana.