States That May Legalize Weed In 2020

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This year already promises to have plenty of election drama thanks to the presidential race. But in some states -- including some of the biggest in the U.S. -- it also could prove to be a big election for marijuana. 

In other states, leaders are choosing legislative action over the ballot box. It’s setting up what should be an interesting year for cannabis advocates in 2020.

Chief among the states considering legalization are New Jersey and New York. Lawmakers in both states failed to pass legalization in 2019. Voters in New Jersey will take matters into their own hands this November. Meanwhile, New York is looking to partner on the issue with a neighboring state on legalization through legislative action.

A petition drive to get the issue on the ballot in Florida has once again washed out, but state lawmakers may consider the issue, anyway. Here’s a look at five states where legalization seems most likely.

New Jersey Turns It Over To The Voters

In 2019, lawmakers had the chance to legalize adult-use marijuana but couldn’t get it done. Now, it’s up to New Jersey voters. Recreational marijuana legalization in the Garden State has already been approved for the November ballot. Based on the findings from a Monmouth University poll, about 60 percent of state voters “support legalizing marijuana and half say a current proposal to make that happen in the Garden State is a good idea.”

New York Is Set To Try Again Through Legislative Action

In his recent State of the State Address, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowed to push again for marijuana legalization (it failed to pass the state legislature in 2019). One idea under discussion: work in collaboration with neighboring Connecticut to legalize weed together. The issue looks to be a top legislative priority in 2020, but lawmakers must find agreement on social justice issues.

Florida Voters Won’t Consider Marijuana Legalization In 2020

With the third highest population in the United States and millions of vacationers every year, Florida is the biggest potential untapped market for legal marijuana. But politics in the state are divided as always, and an effort to get legalization on the ballot has again failed, according to the Miami Herald. However, a state lawmaker from St. Petersburg has already filed to get legalization passed by the state legislature.

New Mexico Governor Backs Legalization Effort

In early January, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced support for a billed filed in the New Mexico state house that would legalize adult use marijuana. Polls have been all over the place on the issue, with one finding 63% of New Mexico voters opposing legalization while another found 75 percent support it, according to KRQE in Albuquerque.

Arizona Voters May Have Another Chance To Legalize

Arizona voters rejected adult-use legalization in 2016. However, an organization called Smart and Safe Arizona already has 150,000 signatures on a petition to put the issue back on the ballot this November. They need 237,645 by July 2, according to Ballotpedia. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is opposed to legalization. 

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