It’s no secret that 2020 is going to be a monumental year in the cannabis law reform movement. While there is some hope for federal progress, most of the action is going to happen on the state level. And, as usual, the folks at the Marijuana Policy Project are going to be on the front lines in multiple battles.
When it comes to state legalization – whether it’s medical or adult-use – there is either effort on the legislative front or at the ballot box (or in cases like New Jersey, the battle moves from one arena to the other).
When it comes to the ballot box, “MPP staff are assisting the 2020 marijuana reform ballot initiative campaigns in Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and South Dakota,” Matthew Schweich, Deputy Director at MPP, told The Marijuana Times. This is taking legalization right into the heart of the country, with all of these efforts taking place between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains.
Things are going to be even more hectic in statehouses around the U.S. “MPP is playing a leading role in efforts to legalize marijuana through state legislatures in Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont (in the latter, possession and cultivation are already legal, we’re working on legal, regulated sales),” Karen O’Keefe, Director of State Policies for MPP, told us. “We’re also quite involved in legalization efforts in Delaware, Rhode Island, and Maryland. Turning to medical cannabis, MPP is working closely with patients and advocates to pass medical cannabis in Kentucky and South Carolina and to improve existing laws, including by adding home cultivation in New Hampshire and expanding patient protections in several states.”
In addition to the obvious advantages to consumers and patients in each of these states should reform efforts be successful, each victory puts a little more pressure on federal officials and lawmakers to bring U.S. law in line with what most states are doing. Legalization of some form in 40+ states and continuing federal illegality is not a situation that can last for very long, relatively speaking. The discrepancies involved and the confusion caused by so many conflicting rules and statutes will eventually devolve into an incomprehensible mess that will make federal laws impossible to enforce.
For more information on state efforts by the Marijuana Policy Project, click here. And if you live in a state where a battle is going down this year, maybe it’s time to think about getting involved, if you’re not already.