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Culture » Smoke Signals

Trend Setting

What's next on the legal weed horizon

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As cannabis legalization moves forward in Oregon, the rest of the country seems to be moving quickly to catch up.

Based on information provided by Marijuana Policy Project, the financial news site 24/7 Wall St. identified 11 states that may soon legalize marijuana. Some of the candidates are obvious, like California and Massachusetts. And a with the exception of Nevada, the remainder of the states are all more liberal north eastern states: New York, Vermont, Minnesota, Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, Maine, and Delaware.

California, which currently has two legalization bills on the table, is the bear in the room. Legalization there would increase the size of the legal cannabis market in the United States by more than five times and would likely represent the beginning of the end for federal prohibition.

New York has a similarly outsized economic impact. Where New York differs is that it is still enmeshed in the war on drugs, leading the country in cannabis-related arrests. New York also has two bills pending that would tax and regulate cannabis.

And it isn't just states that are taking steps toward legalization. The federal government's non-interference policy on state cannabis markets is also being applied to federally-recognized Indian Tribes. South Dakota's Santee Sioux tribe wants to open the nation's first cannabis resort as part of an "adult playground" that also includes a casino, nightclub, restaurant, video game arcade, and outdoor music venue.

Support for cannabis legalization is also building in the remainder of the Anglosphere. Canada's newly-elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to legalize cannabis across Canada. Trudeau says decriminalization of cannabis in Canada will save the Canadian taxpayers $500 million each year in justice-system costs.

In England, a petition calling for the total legalization of cannabis in the United Kingdom has been signed by more than 125,000 people in just four days and is due to be considered by a House of Commons committee.

Here in Bend, Smoke Signals has a new email address! If you have cannabis-related news or information to share, drop us a line at smokesignals@bendsource.com.

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