Last updated: May 22, 2023
Marijuana legalization continues to spread across the nation with 37 states allowing some form of medical use. Moreover, eighteen of those allow recreational use as well. Will others legalize marijuana before the end of the year?
Hawaii and Arkansas have legalized medical marijuana, but there’s a push for allowing recreational use too. It looks unlikely at this point because of roadblocks along the way. A major factor is that neither governor is in favor of the change. Still, citizens continue to gather signatures on petitions calling for their governments to legalize recreational weed.
There are, however, six states that could legalize marijuana sometime during the year.
Delaware’s medical marijuana industry is thriving which may tip the scales in favor of developing an “adult-use” program using it as a guide. The term “adult-use” is considered more neutral than using the word “recreational.” Some feel changing the terminology could influence the vote.
On January 26, 2022, the House Health and Human Development Committee approved HB305. This bill would have made it legal for adults who are 21 and older to use marijuana. However, on March 10, 2022, the House of Representatives voted down the legalization bill.
Here’s the breakdown:
- 23 yes votes
- 14 no votes
- 4 members refrained from voting
The bill needed 25 yes votes to pass, however, the story doesn’t end there.
Representative Ed Osienski (D) has introduced two separate cannabis bills in hopes of seeing adult-use legalized in one form or another.
HB371 would legalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and older. There would be no fees or taxes connected to the bill so it only needs 21 votes to pass by the simple majority.
HB372 is largely identical to HB305 and would regulate and tax adult-use sales.
The bills are set to be introduced on the floor on April 13th, 2022.
The state of Maryland not only allows medical use but has decriminalized marijuana as well. If you’re caught with ten grams or less, you’re hit with a fine likened to that of a traffic ticket.
A recent poll of Maryland citizens revealed that 67% of them support the legalization of recreational use for adults 21 and older. State legislators are on board with the idea. In fact, they began strategizing last summer to determine what the regulatory structure would entail.
Marylanders may be voting on whether or not to totally legalize marijuana before the end of 2022.
Minnesota legalized recreational cannabis in May 2021. However, due to the legislative session adjourning just two days later, the bill didn’t move forward but instead was stalled in committee. They’ve reconvened now with plans to move forward.
The governor is in favor of legalization. His annual budget request includes funding to get things rolling.
Missourians want full legalization on the ballot this year. There are several campaigns in the works that can lead to legalization bills. And, the majority of them contain expungement stipulations for past cannabis offenses.
The medical marijuana licensing process has been a bit messy in Missouri though. Legislators need to clean things up so citizens of the Show-Me State trust in their ability to run an adult recreational program efficiently.
It didn’t include retail sales in the bill, but the New Hampshire House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to legalize possession and home cultivation.
There are six other cannabis proposals floating around at the moment, such as HB1598. It’s entirely possible that a more comprehensive system—one including commercial retail and cultivation—will get passed before the year is out.
The Ohio medical marijuana program has got it going on and is extremely profitable. Legislators have no problem introducing proposals legalizing recreational marijuana use for adults 21 and older. Citizens of the Buckeye State are ready for legalization too—the ballot initiative campaign has 70,000 more signatures than officially needed.
That’s making a statement.
Drug testing for marijuana
If your state votes to legalize marijuana this year should you remove it from the company drug test?
That decision is purely up to you. As long as the Federal Government recognizes marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, employers have every right to keep testing for it.
Marijuana use causes brain impairment. Drug impairment affects both thinking and motor skills—both extremely important to function at work. Someone who uses drugs at work increases their risk of being involved in an accident. Anyone working with or near them is at increased risk as well.
So, even if legalization advocates cry that it infringes on an employee’s right to privacy, employers can choose to stand their ground. If you have an employee who isn’t down with that decision, they’re free to look for a job elsewhere.