DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: The news: After watching Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana go into effect on January 1, it seems as if other states are now lining up to legalize as well. And once things get rolling (if they haven’t already), the United States could find itself in the midst of a very real marijuana revolution.
New York, Tennessee, Florida, Arizona, and Kentucky, along with Washington, D.C., will all very likely see a bill, ballot initiative, or executive order for legalization – be it medical or recreational – in 2014. Check it out:
1. On January 8, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed in his State of the State address plans for a pilot program that would authorize certain hospitals to prescribe marijuana for “serious illnesses.” According to a Quinnipiac poll from earlier this year, 70% of New Yorkers support the legalization of medical marijuana.
2. Tennessee State Representative Sherry Jones filed a bill to legalize the prescription and sale of medical marijuana for “only the most severely debilitated people.” Though the state legalized medical marijuana in the 1980s, it has since been outlawed for everyone. “It’s just simply a matter of being rational and compassionate,” Jones said.
3. A petition is being circulated in Florida to get an initiative on the ballot in November that would legalize medical marijuana. It has met resistance from some state officials – the Florida Attorney General filed a brief against the petition. But the A.G.’s criticism that the initiative allows “use for limitless ‘other conditions’ specified by any physician’” could just as easily be seen as a positive. Indeed, “physicians could authorize marijuana for anything, any time, to anyone, of any age” if the initiative gets on the ballot and passes.