In 2018, several states passed legislation legalizing marijuana for medical use or recreational use or adjusting laws already in place in regard to medical marijuana use. In 2019, even more states have bills under consideration.
As the calendar turned to 2019, 33 states had legalized medical marijuana under some form of regulation, while 10 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational use of marijuana.
In the new year, New Mexico and New Hampshire are leading the charge when it comes to considering bills for marijuana legalization.
Marijuana Legalization Bills in New Mexico
In New Mexico, two bills have made it through various committees in the state House and Senate, paving the way to becoming law.
The first bill would allow a special system of licensed private businesses to sell cannabis to those adults who are cleared to purchase the product within the state. This bill met with the approval of both the House Health and Human Services and the House Judiciary committees.
Meanwhile, another bill would allow marijuana to be sold by state-run stores. This bill made it through the Public Affairs committee for the Chamber and met with approval.
Marijuana Legalization Bills in New Hampshire
For New Hampshire, the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee is hard at work to move a marijuana legalization bill forward through the legislature. The bill is expected to be voted on by the full House of Representatives in the coming week.
Meanwhile, Gov. Chris Sununu has voiced opposition to the idea of legalization, promising to veto any measure that is advanced to his office for a signature. However, the House speaker feels there are enough votes to override such a veto, with the potential for a similar response in the Senate.
Marijuana Legalization Bills in Hawaii and Vermont
A cannabis legalization bill is making strong strides in Hawaii, with legislators noting that legalization of marijuana is a top priority in the state during the course of 2019.
Vermont is a fourth state where marijuana legalization is moving forward, as a bill to add a system of legal marijuana sales has progressed through the Senate Judiciary, Finance and Appropriations committees, setting adjustments for the measures that passed last year to legalize low-level possession and also allow cultivation of the plant at a private residence.