As the laws surrounding cannabis change, they differ from state to state, and it’s important that you not get caught off-guard. However, we must remember that it’s illegal to transport cannabis across state lines or international borders no matter what and that most airports ban cannabis from their properties. A notable exception is in-state air travel in Oregon, which allows travelers to fly with cannabis to other airports within the state’s borders, and some airports throughout California and Washington have adopted relaxed stances on passengers with weed in their carry-on traveling to other cannabis-friendly locations.
California is the eighth state to approve recreational marijuana, the law taking effect on New Year’s Day this year. Not long after, on January 22, Vermont’s Republican governor, Phil Scott, signed the Green Mountain State’s own recreational marijuana law. This law takes effect on July 1.
So far, there are twenty-nine states that have various marijuana laws in place, and it seems the number will grow this year. Americans have different views on marijuana use, and the number of states legalizing cannabis perhaps is an indication of a change in people’s perception.
Listed below are some of the states that may legalize either medical marijuana or recreational marijuana.
Kentucky’s governor, Matt Bevin, worries about possible overdose from marijuana, but Alison Grimes, Kentucky’s secretary of state, is pushing for the legalization of medical marijuana. As of December 2017, a task force was formed to investigate how marijuana can help veterans with PTSD and patients who have severe illnesses.
New Approach Missouri, a group run by staunch advocates of marijuana, has been collecting signatures for an initiative that will legalize medical marijuana. The group aims to gain 180,000 signatures by November this year. As of October last year, it has collected 100,000.
The New Approach proposal qualifies which illnesses can be treated by medical marijuana, and it stipulates that only state-approve physicians can recommend marijuana to a patient. Similar efforts, such as Patient Care statutory change and the Bradshaw Amendment, have been made by other groups.
Back in 2015, the group Recreational Ohio attempted to propose measures for legalizing recreational marijuana, but failed. It will try again this year, starting with the gathering of signatures on January.
As of the moment, the use of medical marijuana is legal in Ohio.
Not one to be outdone by its neighbors Massachusetts and Maine, Rhode Island is also considering its own recommendations for legalizing recreational marijuana. In 2017, the Cannabis Advisory Board was formed to study the implications of such a move. The recommendations were to be forwarded on January this year.
This year too, legalization advocates may introduce a bill that, according to Senator Joshua Miller, will “respect will of the majority of voters who want marijuana to be legal for adults” but, at the same time, consider the right regulations.
Important to Note
The list is by no means complete, and there is no doubt that other states are considering some forms of legislation on marijuana, whether for recreation or for medical purposes. At the heart of it all, however, is still responsible marijuana use. Strong, clear policies will mean nothing if users do not comply with laws.
For example, you cannot show up high at work. Employers still have the right to enforce zero-tolerance policies as the see fit. In that case, you need to pass a marijuana blood drug test as part of employment requirements. This usually applies to safety-critical positions, such as those in the health-care industry or those that require operating heavy equipment.
Under federal law, however, marijuana use is still considered illegal. Although you may have marijuana laws in your state, you still cannot smoke or consume marijuana on federal property. For your guidance and safety, it is important for you to know the laws in your state and local area.