Medical and recreational marijuana laws are constantly being passed, but it seems some states do not want to even try and pass a pro-marijuana law at a state level. It may take decades for their lawmakers to come around. The refusal of some of these states stems from an outdated fear, that started in the days of “Reefer Madness,” which was a state-sponsored film intended to deter the youth from smoking pot.
Supporters are disappointed with the feelings toward marijuana legalization in these states, but, we’re hopeful that these states will eventually come around when the scientific benefits of marijuana become more mainstream.
The land of potatoes surely doesn’t use those potatoes to construct a pipe. Idaho’s negative attitude toward marijuana sadly started from a racial basis. When Idaho was developing its agricultural sector in the 1920s, immigrants from Mexico started to come into the state. With this immigration, residents of Idaho feared the different cultures that came along with the farm workers.
Idaho officially outlawed the substance in 1927, and ever since, the law hasn’t been modified and remains intact. In fact, in 2013, Idaho’s legislature reinforced its dedication to banning marijuana forever with a popular measure. Getting caught with marijuana in this state is a very serious crime, even simple possession is dealt with harshly, so it will be to your benefit not to smoke in the Spud State.
It would be great if Dorothy could come back to Kansas, click those heels, and make recreational marijuana legal in the state – however, if this were to occur, Dorothy would likely be placed in a jumpsuit. Kansas instituted some of the most strict laws against marijuana possession, with high fines and lengthy jail sentences.
Still, lawmakers eventually started to change their respective opinions regarding the substance because the laws were placing too many non-violent criminals into jail, which obviously bloated the budget. Thankfully, the state has come to its senses by lowering a number of fines for simple possession – this is a huge initial step.
Nebraska’s initial approach toward cannabis will surprise some. During the 1880s, hemp crops were commonly grown and used to produce various products. But, similar to Idaho, the “fear of foreigner” factor arose – Mexicans started to flood into the state to perform the jobs that residents of the states refused to do.
Nebraska even went so far as to sue the State of Colorado after recreational marijuana was legalized. The reason being: arrests for marijuana possession spiked. They blamed those coming into the state and bringing dispensary marijuana from Colorado. However, the Supreme Court denied a hearing of the case because it didn’t present a solid case. In 2016, there was an effort to legalize medical marijuana as it passed the Nebraska House, but the Senate filibustered the legislation so it could thus never be voted on.
Only a third of those living in Tennessee approve of marijuana legalization, either medical or recreational. This approval is one of the lowest in the United States and it’s not likely to change anytime soon. There is some in-fighting though between rural and conservative counties. And this strife actually brought the debate to the table, which resulted in the legalization of cannabis oil! It’s not an ideal legalization because patients have to import cannabis oil from other states, which puts them under threat from the federal government. Furthermore, the two largest cities in the state, Memphis, and Nashville decriminalized marijuana within city limits.
These states are coming around to some extent (except Idaho of course). As I have mentioned before, in time, states will presumably move toward medical and recreational marijuana legislation as science and economics reign supreme. It’s not financially or morally beneficial for states against marijuana to perpetually ban marijuana because legalization could end up helping patients and boosting the local economy. Overall, I’m proud that states like Tennessee and Nebraska have made legitimate attempts to change outdated perceptions toward marijuana.
Article By: Jason Newell