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The 5 States That Are Likely to Legalize Marijuana Next

The Street has taken a look at marijuana reform legislation and public opinion in several states and have identified the five states that are most likely to follow Washington and Colorado in legalizing marijuana for non-medicinal use.

According Keris Alison Lahiff, Alaska has a strong legalization movement and activists have collected over 45,000 signatures. The next step is having those signatures verified so the initiative could appear on the ballot in the primary elections in August. The language in the proposed legislation is similar to that in Colorado and Washington, regulating it like alcohol and allowing any adult over 21 to buy and grow marijuana. According to polls, roughly 60 percent of Alaskans support legalization.

Oregon, likely smelling what’s going on right next door in Washington, is likely to see another attempt at legalization. An initiative to legalize recreational marijuana failed by a margin of 53-47 in 2012 but activists believe that a couple of years of time and seeing that Washington and Colorado haven’t fallen into apocalypse may produce a different results.

Medicinal marijuana is legal in California and recreational use has been decriminalized but voters struck down an outright legalization in 2010. Activists need to collect 500,000 signatures by February 24 to get a new initiative on the ballot for November 2014.

New Hampshire is in a weird spot because their House of Representatives have voted 170-162 to legalize marijuana use and cultivation for all adults over 21. Governor Maggie Hassan has vowed to veto any legalization bill, saying “We need to be focusing on that, and I just think it’s the wrong message to send to young people.”

Portland, Maine legalized marijuana in November and now activists turn their eye to a statewide legalization. The state legislature was unable to get a bill through in November but legalization will be reconsidered in 2015.

(Image courtesy of Frank K)

About the author

Igor Derysh is the Managing Editor of Latest. com and a syndicated columnist whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, and Orlando Sun Sentinel, and AOL News. His work has been criticized in even more publications. Follow him on Twitter @IgorDerysh