With the American economy locked in uncertainty, many states are searching for another source of taxable revenue. For this reason, they’re turning to marijuana and legalizing it to revitalize they’re struggling economic structures. It took some legal maneuvering and assistance from Attorney, General Eric Holder, but Washington and Colorado have managed to legalize the use of recreational marijuana for adults. This epic decision has left many people wondering which states will be next to legalize the recreational use of pot and if the Federal Government will intervene.

The Next States to Legalize Marijuana

Though the possession and distribution of marijuana remains illegal on the federal level, many states are looking to follow Washington and Colorado’s lead. The state most likely to legalize the use of recreational marijuana is California. Many people assume that the use and distribution of marijuana is already legal in the Golden State but it’s not. In 2010, there was a statewide effort to legalize cannabis but it was defeated by a conservative movement.

Last month, California legislators filed the California Hemp Act of 2014 which would legalize marijuana within the entire state for recreational uses. 750,000 valid signatures from registered voters are needed to get the issue included on the 2014 ballot. An astounding 54% of California citizens are for the legalization of recreational marijuana where medicinal marijuana is already legal. One of California’s neighboring states, Nevada, is following suit. Nevada hopes to get legalization included as an issue on the 2016 ballot.

Oregon is the next most likely state to pass the legalization of medical marijuana after California. 57% of Oregon’s registered voters already support the decimalization of and taxation of marijuana and there are already plans in place to campaign to get the issue included on the 2014 ballot. If Oregon and California are successful in their efforts, the entire west coast will have legalized the recreational use of Marijuana.

Not all efforts to legalize marijuana have been out west though. On the East Coast, Maine and Massachusetts are attempting to legalize recreational marijuana. Nearly half of Maine’s citizens already support the legalization and taxation of cannabis and there is an effort in place to get the issue included on the 2016 ballot. In Massachusetts, there hasn’t been a concerted effort to get an amendment on the ballot but an amazing 58% of bay state’s residents are for the decriminalization of marijuana.

Marijuana is already the #1 cash crop in the United States but the government doesn’t receive a dime of that money. There are already states that have realized the earning potential of marijuana and they are ignoring federal law to better themselves.

Photo credit: dannybirchall / Foter.com / CC BY

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