Despite Flurry of Bills, Only a Few States Expected to Pass Cannabis Legislation in 2013

Optimism about the marijuana industry’s future is extraordinarily high these days. One of the main reasons for the exuberance: Lawmakers in roughly two dozen states have either already submitted or plan to introduce bills that would legalize marijuana for medical or recreational use. And the list keeps growing, with new legislation making headlines almost daily.

Impressive, for sure. But what are the chances these states will actually pass cannabis bills? Very slim in most cases. Only a handful of these proposals have a realistic shot of becoming law, let alone advancing past the first stage of debate.

It often takes several years and numerous legislative attempts to win enough support among lawmakers to get medical marijuana legislation passed. And legalizing marijuana for adult use is even more difficult, as only two states in the entire nation have ever done it.

Many of these bills will die a quick death, like the recently introduced MMJ proposal in Iowa that has already been shot down.

In a best-case scenario, a half-dozen states will legalize either medical cannabis or marijuana in general this year. But, more likely, two or three states will, with Illinois and New Hampshire among the front-runners to legalize MMJ next. And then of course there’s the very real possibility that no states will join the MMJ/cannabis club.

So marijuana professionals might want to temper their expectations a bit. The industry will certainly still grow, just not as fast as some predict.

Still, there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future of the marijuana business. Just the fact that so many bills have been introduced is a positive sign that highlights how marijuana has entered the discussion on a national scale.

“I’m excited because there are more bills than we’ve ever seen at any one time,” said Morgan Fox, communications manager at the Washington DC-based Marijuana Policy Project, which lobbies for the reform of cannabis laws. “This shows that marijuana can be discussed in the open and that reform is a possibility. Any bill introduced gets us one step closer to realistic reform.”

The real progress could come in a few years, once the nation has seen the effects of marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington. If those states handle it effectively and limit the negative consequences, we could see many more states pass similar laws. And the introduction of so many medical marijuana bills this year will lay the groundwork for legalization in the future.

7 comments on “Despite Flurry of Bills, Only a Few States Expected to Pass Cannabis Legislation in 2013
  1. Jim Gabrisch on

    It doesn’t surprise me that Iowa is so anti-MMJ. First MMJ, then RecMJ, then–legal HEMP. Hemp would compete with corn. MONSANTO will have none of that, as they own the re-plant rights for their GMO corn. Things may change, after Monsanto develops and patents GMO hemp.

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  2. mitchell hammons " state of virgina' on

    VIRGINIA WAKE UP ! medical CAnnabis is not a hippy drug.! LIKE IT HAS ALREADY BEEN BRANDED FOR IN THE PAST Virginia needs to open new doors for ITS medical use of medical cannabis AND stop wasting state and tax payers money and make some money.SENCH MOMEY IS OUR GAME! IT REALY SHOULD NOT BE MONEY AT ALL BUT ABOUT THE MEDICAL PROPERTIES OF Cannabis that reAlly helps those in need of a medication were other man made drugs and other strong drug dont work for them because of there bad side affects AND ADICTION medicaL CANNBIS CAN BE A MIROCAL DRUG FOR SOME PEOPLE NOT SAYING ITS FOR EVERY ONE BUT DEFENTLY SHOUD BE DECRIMILIZED AND ALLOWED TO BE USED FOR MEDICAL USE WITH SOME LIMITATION VIRGINIA.SPENDS THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS ON PROSCUTING PEOPLE WITH SMALL AMOUNTS OF CANNABIS AND THE STATE IS LOOSEING ALLOT OF MONEY NEED TO SAY.
    Virginia people needs to focous on all the medical bennifits of it healing of many things including cancer and no one has been kill on it unless they did something really stuppid its its a God given herb stright from the mother earth.BUT GIVIN A BAD NAME. VIRGINIA PEOPLE to have a open mind and RESERCH ITS BENNIFITS AND DONT GIVE IT A BAD NAME UNTIL YOU DO. SURE NO ONE WHATS OUR KIDS RUNNING AROUND SMOKEING BUT I AM SPEEKING FOR ADULTS AND ADULT SUPERVISION TO A MINOR IF NEED FOR A BAD ILLNESS THAT IT MAY CURE OUR TREAT IF A DR. WOULD RECOMENDES IT BENNFITS. SO RESERCH IT AND THEN SPEEK OF IT IN A MEDICAL WAY.THANK YOU FOR TAKEING THE THE TIME TO UNDERSTAND IT On medical terms and not like A ADDICTION OF ALCHOL ABUSE Booze Beer or Wine what doe these cure but give death and destuction of familys and kids thAT ARE ON OUR HIGHWAYS. SORRY ABOUT SPELING I HAVE STICKY KEYS . STUDY THIS PLANT BEFORE YOU JUDGE IT TO STRONGLY IN A BAD WAY. IT COULD HELP THE STATE OF VA.SAVE SOME MONEY AND ITS PEOPLE IN MANY WAYS IN A CONTROLED MANOR. THANK YOU ! VOTE DECRIMENALIZE MEDICAL CANABIS FOR VIRGINIA [email protected]

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  3. Steve on

    I am from Maryland and it kills me that we havnt goten the right for medicinal marijuana. I moved to California for a year and it was so enlightening seeing that they dnt have half the problems we have with actual “hard drugs”. And it’s because they have somewhere safe and perfessional to get there marijuane. They don’t have the corner drug dealers trying to sell you cocain and heroin when in fact the only thing they were looking for was 10 dollars worth of marijuana.

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  4. Steve on

    Hi I am from Maryland and find it really sad we havnt goten a chance with medical marijuana. I recently lived in California for a year and found it very enlightening to how how they don’t have half the problems Maryland has with actual “hard drugs”. And it’s because in California people have a safe and professional place to get there marijuana. They don’t have the drug dealer on the corner trying to sell you cocain and heroin when in fact the person was only looking for ten dollars worth of marijuana.

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  5. jonihelmer on

    How come NO one is talkiing bot what’s going on in ND?! I thought we had another chance to get it on the ballot in June,and we had more than enuf signatures to get it on last time,until some ass-holes decided to commit alil fraud.Does that mean we are ruined forever?

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