1. California made history in 1996, when it became the first state to legalize medical marijuana; next November, it will vote to allow recreational weed, and polls indicate the amendment will likely pass. “Then we will have reached the tipping point,” says Angell, of the Marijuana Majority. “And with California having so many members in Congress, it will give a huge boost to our efforts to change federal law.”
2. Maine’s legislators may have rejected recreational marijuana this summer, but the state’s voters have taken measures into their own hands. A signature drive to put legalization on the 2016 ballot is underway, and in the past two years, voters in two of its biggest cities, Portland and South Portland, went ahead and passed referendums in favor of legislation.
3. Massachusetts opened its first medical dispensary this summer, and many believe the state will legalize weed by referendum in 2016. “Polls show voters are poised to pass full legalization next November,” says Angell.
4. Vermont’s attorney general is predicting legalization in 2016. If the marijuana-friendly legislators pass recreational marijuana, they will be the first lawmakers with the political courage to directly challenge federal prohibition, rather than use a ballot initiative to legalize weed.
5. Nevada will almost certainly go green. “Legalization in Nevada seems like a given,” says Amanda Reiman of the DPA. A legalization initiative has already qualified for the 2016 ballot and seems like a lock in a state where self-indulgence is a tourist attraction.