Although 2012 wasn't the most victorious year for marijuana, there are already some promising signs for possible legislative victory in 2013.
The Federal government isn't too fond of the idea…but several marijuana reform bills have already been introduced in the state legislatures. Whether they stand a decent chance or not, they will at least significantly advance the issue of reform.
With Colorado and Washington State moving fast towards full legalization, we can only expect other states and politicians to follow suit.
Without further ado, here are eight potential marijuana reforms in 2013 that might just happen!
8. New Hampshire, Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana was very close to being approved in New Hampshire last year…but the bill was vetoed by then Governor John Lynch (D)! What a buzzkill… However, fear not! New Hampshire’s newly appointed Governor, Margaret Hassan (D), is an open supporter of medical marijuana and even voted for it herself when she was serving in the state legislature. Hang in there guys, it’s coming!
7. Vermont, Marijuana Decriminalization
Governor Perter Shulmin (D) has made marijuana decriminalization a high priority for this legislative session. Seeing as though the legislature in Vermont is controlled by Democrats, there’s a pretty good chance that a proposed bill would be approved. Democrats are known to “inhale” frequently.
6. New York, Decriminalizing Marijuana In “Public View”
Currently, minor possession of marijuana in New York is decriminalized as long as it is not in “open view.” However, this legal technicality has been exploited in a devastating way! The NYPD has been using the stop and frisk tactic to fuck over anyone with even the smallest bit of weed in their pockets. In response to what has been going on, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) has made decriminalizing (in the public view) 15 grams or less of marijuana a priority for 2013.
5. Illinois, Medical Marijuana
The Illinois State House has come close to approving a medical marijuana bill…but it has never received a sufficient amount of votes. However, the Democrats — who tend to be more supportive of marijuana reform — have made significant gains in the state legislature. Gov. Pat Quinn (D) has previously said he would consider signing a medical marijuana law. It’s about to get real hazy in Chi-Town!
4. Washington State, Vacating Old Marijuana Convictions
Is it fair that certain people are to be burdened with a criminal record for something that is no longer considered illegal?! Bipartisan HB 1661, which has recently been introduced in Washington State, would allow people who were previously convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession to have their record cleared! The slow process of legalizing marijuana won't be completed until the unnecessary suffering it brought is also fixed!
3. Kentucky, Industrial Hemp
Despite the fact that industrial hemp can’t get people high…it has been caught up in the United State’s marijuana prohibition. Kentucky's two senators, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) and Rand Paul (R), are both pushing to allow local farmers to grow hemp. Industrial hemp has a variety of uses, and would greatly benefit Kentucky’s economy!
2. Hawaii, Marijuana Legalization
A bill was recently introduced in the Hawaii State House that would legalize the most sacred herb. The bill may not get passed this year, but it’s being sponsored by House Speaker Joe Souki (D), who happens to hold the most powerful position in the chamber! Hawaii was the first state legislature to approve medical marijuana and it is very likely that in a few years it might be the first state legislature to legalize marijuana.
1. Rhode Island, Marijuana Legalization
State Rep. Edith Ajello (D) introduced a bill to legalize marijuana for all adults. While it probably will not be approved this year, Rhode Island has recently adopted several marijuana reforms including both a marijuana decriminalization bill and a medical marijuana dispensary bill last year. In the long run…the liberal state will be one the top targets for getting legalization approved through the state legislature.
Top Photo Credit: Getty Images
Subscribe to Elite Daily's official newsletter, The Edge, for more stories you don't want to miss.