Professor Projects Next 5 States to Legalize Rec

California, Illinois, New York, Nevada and Vermont could become the next states to legalize recreational marijuana, according to a Kansas University professor who has studied the history of cannabis.

Barney Warf, a professor of geography at KU, said his prediction is based on current laws, voter leanings and the fact that all five states already have medical marijuana.

Warf is the author of “High Points: An Historical History of Cannabis,” which was published in the peer-reviewed journal Geographical Review in September, according to

California voters “are sure to” legalize rec in 2016, Warf predicts. Nevada leans libertarian like Alaska (which legalized rec marijuana in 2014), Vermont is liberal, Illinois is “progressive” and New York legalized MMJ last year.

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2 comments on “Professor Projects Next 5 States to Legalize Rec
  1. Michael D. Cutler on

    No doubt VT, CA & NV are set to legalize nonmedical soon, but with all due respect RI (as another article on this site notes) and MA are likely to beat NY & IL to nonmedical reform. RI & MA already have decrim and medical, adopted in MA by initiative in 2008 and 2012; MA already has an initiative campaign entity registered with state for the 2016 ballot, to adopt nonmedical legalization in 2017.

  2. Karen F on

    As a resident of Chicago and one of many working to get Illinois State’s Pilot Program to actualize, I’d consider top 5 legalization status a long shot. But hey, assuming no politics involved, I support this projection!

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