In 2023, laws restricting the use of cannabis seem to be going up in smoke. As of now, 42% of all US states have legalized recreational marijuana use for adults over the age of twenty one. Thirty seven states now allow medical marijuana use. Only two states, Idaho and Nebraska, do not permit any use of cannabis products, including CBD. Citizens’ attitudes towards cannabis legalization are largely positive, with 59% of surveyed citizens supporting medical and recreational legalization, 30% supporting medical legalization, and 10% not supporting any legalization.
Experts predict that the trend of cannabis legalization will continue into 2023, with research suggesting that Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and South Dakota have potential to approve recreational marijuana by 2030. The time period between medical approval and recreational approval has been rapidly shrinking over the past sixteen years, with California’s 1996 legalization taking 7,308 days, and Massachusetts’ 2012 legalization taking 1,463 days.
Federal regulations may be shifting as well. President Biden suggests that change in legalization is imminent, and is quoted as saying: “Sending people to prison for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives and incarcerated people for conduct that many states no longer prohibit.” Biden also pardoned non-violent offenders convicted of simple possession of marijuana via an executive order. More than fifty federal legalization bills were introduced in 2022, and it is highly likely that 2023 will continue this trend of cannabis legalization.