6 States in the U.S. That Are Likely to Legalize Marijuana Use In 2022

6 States in the U.S. That Are Likely to Legalize Marijuana Use In 2022

The call to legalize marijuana use has been around since the turn of the decade. This highly medicinal plant has been popular with young people and people who subscribe to alternative medicine and lead an alternative lifestyle. Although there are various studies that show the benefits of marijuana consumption, the world is still divided on whether marijuana legalization should materialize.

Due to its promise of being a highly medicinal plant, marijuana is legal for medical use in 37states, while 18 states have recreational marijuana use legal.

Marijuana use can directly affect the brain. According to the report done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, frequent marijuana use can alter brain functions, especially in terms of memory, learning, attention, decision-making, coordination, and emotions.

Despite being met with welcoming caution from the scientific community, general marijuana usage is met with criticism from conservative members of society. However, even though the opposition can be tough, it is undeniable that marijuana brings a lot of benefits to the table, especially as an alternative medication for chronic pain. Now, more than ever, the call to legalize marijuana use is louder.

Legalization of Marijuana in the United States

It’s a long, winding battle to legalize marijuana use in the United States. However, more and more states acknowledge the benefits of the marijuana industry. That is why they are tweaking their laws to cater to and welcome recreational marijuana businesses. This year, 2022, one might wonder: in what states is marijuana legal for recreational use?

Although medical marijuana has been legal for the majority of states in the US, recreational marijuana is still up for debate. Legislation has been passed in support of recreational marijuana use but, so far, the process has been slow. What legislators and concerned groups used to do is to establish tweaks to the existing laws to ensure that the use of marijuana is still controllable.

1. Arkansas

Marijuana use in the state of Arkansas has been legal since 2016. However, the legality is limited only to medical use.

As of 2021, legislation has been passed to amend the Telemedicine Act, which will allow telehealth certification for marijuana patients. Arkansas is also able to pass Senate Bill 654, which will extend a person from another state’s visit to access marijuana facilities in Arkansas. Both bills are set to be in effect by January 2022.

Meanwhile, supporters of recreational marijuana are pushing for legislation that will legalize marijuana use for recreation. Spearheaded by the Arkansas True Grass, the movement aims to gather 89,151 signatures to push the legislation known as The Arkansas Recreational Marijuana Amendment of 2022. This bill will allow people over the age of 21 to purchase 4 ounces of marijuana per day. When passed, the bill will also allow people to plant and farm their own marijuana.

2. North Dakota

Cannabis legalization in the state of North Dakota has always faced strong adversaries. Prior to the 2022 initiative to legalize marijuana, the state senate rejected a House bill that aims to legalize the use of the plant for recreational purposes.

Organizations such as the North Dakota Cannabis Caucus are optimistic about pushing a new legalization initiative by 2022.

3. Missouri

In December 2021, an initiative was organized to legalize marijuana for adults 21 years old and above. Although there are legislations present regarding the usage of medical marijuana, the initiative will provide enhancements once it is passed by 2022.

The initiative also welcomes the use of recreational marijuana, citing economic benefits as reasons to legalize the development of distilleries.

4. Mississippi

The state of Mississippi is taking positive steps towards the legalization of marijuana for medical use. The long-awaited legislation was voted 47-5 by the Mississippi Senate in favor of legalizing marijuana for herbal medicine use.

As early as 2020, the people of Mississippi supported a broad legalization initiative called the Senate Bill 2095. This legislation allows patients with specific medical conditions to qualify to purchase marijuana as long as they have a doctor’s prescription.

5. Idaho

This year the state of Idaho will get the conversation rolling toward the legalization of marijuana with the Personal Adult Marijuana Decriminalization Act (PAMDA).

Earlier in 2021, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a law that restricts the petitioning process ballot initiatives. This is a welcome change, and supporters of marijuana use are relieved because this will make the passing of PAMDA foreseeable in the near future.

6. Maryland

The state of Maryland is getting ready for its 2022 state ballot. Legislators took this opportunity to advance the legalization of marijuana within the state. Legislators are optimistic that the law will be a top priority and will be passed without further hassle.

Advantages of Legalizing Marijuana

While the arguments on whether marijuana should be legalized are never-ending, more and more people are joining the call to legalize marijuana use. It is not surprising since, throughout the years of research and development, experts discovered benefits in the large-scale marijuana industry.

1. Positive Impact on Tax Revenue

The states of Colorado and Washington are perfect examples of this. Ever since the legalization of marijuana in these states, the tax revenue has been healthy.

The state of Colorado, for instance, was able to collect more than $302 million worth of taxes and fees from both recreational and medical marijuana industries. Meanwhile, the sales of marijuana in Colorado garnered a total of over $187.5 million.

2. Job Creation and Income Provision

Speaking of jobs, legalizing recreational and medical marijuana industries can help generate income for the people of each state. Setting up marijuana plantations for medical use will employ locals and, at the same time, start the economic activity for the industry.

3. Investment Opportunities

The legalization of marijuana can introduce benefits to the economy at large – both on the local and the national scale. As of the moment, since the action necessary to make marijuana legal is a bit slow, big investors are unsure about investing in the industry. However, the future looks bright for the industry, and all that is needed is nationwide legalization for recreational use. Now, it depends on what state is about to legalize marijuana use first this year.

4. Standardization of Strains

For marijuana producers, it is normal to hear about different strains or varieties of cannabis. As a consumer, there is no way to double-check if the strain is what it is except for the producer’s word. If marijuana legalization becomes a reality, the industry can now set certain standards that all marijuana farmers can follow to create an equal playing field for both producers and consumers.

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