As of right now, the federal government still classifies marijuan as a Schedule I controlled substance. It’s in the same category as heroin and LSD, suggesting a high risk of abuse and addiction, no accepted medical uses and no safe level of use. There is hope that 2020 could be a very good year for the legalization of marijuana. The year started out with Illinois becoming the 10th state in the country and second in the Midwest to legalize cannabis. Illinois is important because it’s the 6th most populous state overall and the second most to legalize marijuana. Plus, it’s the first state to allow recreational sales through the legislature. In other words, state lawmakers and the governor signed off on it. Politicians are typically very cautious when it comes to cannabis laws. Hopefully, this is a sign of growing political change and will lead to more state governments following the example set by Illinois. Governor Andrew Cuoma has pushed for legalization in New York, and it nearly passed in 2019.
Arguments about how the tax revenue raised should be dispersed ultimately defeated it. Legalizing marijuana has become a priority of the governor or New Mexico as well. Possession of marijuana but not sales has been legalized in Vermont, while Connecticut and Rhode Island work toward legalization through their legislatures. The majority of states are achieving legalization through ballot initiatives. It’s looking like recreational legalization will show up on the ballot this coming year in Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Legislations such as the ones mentioned above could lead to more and more cannabis dispensaries.