Dark green indicates states whose voters have already approved legalizing recreational marijuana: Colorado, Washington state, Alaska, Oregon and Washington D.C. Lighter green indicates states where legalization of recreational use is projected in the coming years.
Map courtesy of Barney Warf, professor of geography at the University of Kansas
Researcher forecasts next states to OK recreational pot
With laws going into effect last week that legalized recreational marijuana in both Alaska and Washington, D.C., a researcher into the history of cannabis’ acceptance has predicted the next five U.S. states where voters could be inclined to approve marijuana use for relaxation and enjoyment.
Barney Warf, professor of geography at the University of Kansas, is the author of “High Points: An Historical Geography of Cannabis,” published in the peer-reviewed journal Geographical Review. Warf said legalization can be “hard to predict,” but on March 3 he forecast the states he expects to legalize cannabis next, based on their current laws and voter leanings.
“All five of these states have legal medical marijuana and tend to be liberal or libertarian in voting patterns,” he said. Warf’s predictions for the next five states where recreational marijuana could be legal and why are:
California: “Recreational cannabis almost was legalized in the past, and Cali. voters are sure to in 2016.”
Nevada: “Nevada shares the libertarian sentiments of Alaska.”
Vermont: “There’s a strong liberal tradition there in Vermont.”
Illinois: “ ‘The Land of Lincoln’ is surprisingly progressive on this issue.”
New York: “New York legalized medical marijuana last year.”