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These Are The 3 States Least Likely to Legalize Marijuana

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Enjoy your weed? Avoid these 3 states that are the least likely to legalize marijuana!

Marijuana has been illegal in the United States for close to 80 years now, accounting for over 8 million arrests across the country between 2001 and 2010. The country’s attitude towards the federal ban on the plant has been changing, with many states legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use in recent years. In 1969, 12% of Americans supported legalization, while in 2013, that number jumped up to 58%. Hilary Clinton has shown her support for legalization in the 2016 election, while Donald Trump has spoken against it. Only time will tell when nationwide legalization happens, but it’s sure to be within the millennial generation’s lifetime. On the other hand, there are areas of the US that will take some true convincing.

The support for marijuana legalization (for either medical or recreational use) varies state by state and it’s quite likely that state legalization will play a strong role in federal changes. Despite some states being seen as very progressive, there are many who have put a foot down on the subject. Here are the 3 states that are the least likely to legalize cannabis:

1. Georgia

  • Maximum Fine for Small Amount: $1,000
  • Marijuana Arrests in 2012: 30,611
  • Marijuana Arrests per 100,000: 308.6
  • Minimum Penalty Classification: Misdemeanor

The Peach state is extremely unlikely to see cannabis legalization in upcoming years, despite recent legalization of the non-psychoactive cannabis oil for medicinal purposes. For those who are prescribed CBD oil for medical treatments face potential legal risks. Laws surrounding the drug’s medical usage will remain in their current strict state, though legislators and a majority of voters support allowing cannabidiol to be produced in Georgia. Georgia currently bars the production and distribution of oil within the state, forcing patients to cross state lines to obtain the medicine. This is a direct violation of federal law, so they’re put in a very awkward position.

Felony charges await any adult in Georgia caught in possession of more than an ounce of cannabis, a $5,000 fine and a minimum of one year incarceration. Compared to anywhere in the country, Georgia sees significantly more cannabis-related arrests: 309 for every 100,000 state residents. For perspective, the national average is 239 arrests for every 100,000 people.

2. Alabama

  • Maximum Fine for Small Amount: $6,000
  • Marijuana Arrests in 2012: 3,600
  • Marijuana Arrests per 100,000: 74.7
  • Minimum Penalty Classification: Misdemeanor

Around 9.7% of Alabama residents 12 years and older report using marijuana, making it one of the lowest usage states in the country and significantly lower than the national usage rate of 12.3%. This may be a direct effect of the harsh legal penalties for possession. In early 2016, the severity of penalties was reduced, but second time offenders caught with any amount of cannabis still face felony charges and a maximum of five years incarceration.

There were many bills proposed to change Alabama’s cannabis legislation, but only some were passed. The senate voted against a bill that would have established the beginnings of their first medicinal cannabis program and approved motions to steepen first time possession penalties. Residents across the nation who disapprove of cannabis legalization often cite Alabama as the prime example of laws reducing usage rates, though the cause-effect relationship is still inconclusive. Regardless, the low usage rates, steep penalties and lack of political support makes Alabama among the least likely states to legalize cannabis in the near future.

3. Arkansas

  • Maximum Fine for Small Amount: $2,500
  • Marijuana Arrests in 2012: 5,892
  • Marijuana Arrests per 100,000: 99.8
  • Minimum Penalty Classification: Misdemeanor

Although Arkansas has a voter initiative process where cannabis legalization could be put on the table, it’s still an unlikely state for full legalization. 4 years ago, residents of Arkansas voted against a measure that would have allowed medicinal cannabis without fear of legal repercussion for severely ill patients. Just two years later, a proposal to legalize recreational use failed to make it to the ballots. This wasn’t surprising from an outside perspective since Arkansas has banned alcohol sales in almost half of all counties.

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