Well, I’ll be the first to say it, 2020 might not be off to the best start. But if there’s one thing that could keep up positive and optimistic this year, it’s the possibility of cannabis legalization. With the right Presidential candidate in place, we could have legal cannabis in all 50 states, also known as federally legal. What does the year 2020 look like for cannabis? Here’s what we know so far…

States To Watch For Cannabis Legalization

Up to one-dozen states could legalize medical and/or recreational cannabis this year. But as history has a way of repeating itself, only a handful will likely to do so. In the past, many states have come *this* close to legalizing cannabis. There’s a strong push for recreational use in:

  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Connecticut
  • New Mexico
  • Arizona
  • Montana
  • Vermont
  • New Mexico
  • Florida
  • Pennsylvania

Possible Next States To Legalize Medical Use

Generally speaking, The South has been slower to jump on board the cannabis legalization train. The chances of recreational legalization in the following states look slim in 2020 — but that’s not to say there’s no room for improvement. Medical use is on the rise in these Southern states and they may come around to legalizing it.

  • Mississippi
  • Alabama
  • Kentucky
  • South Dakota

The Most Likely Contenders

With so many states in the running, we can’t expect them all to pass new laws. The most likely contenders are New York, New Jersey, Arizona, and New Mexico. New York and New Jersey would be massive strides for the East Coast, and it almost seems inevitable that more West Coast states will follow suit (recreational cannabis is already legal in Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada, so it makes sense that Arizona and New Mexico could be next).

It’s An Uncertain Time For Politics

Due to the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak, many states opted to push back their respective voting day. I believe Ohio was the first to do so. As we continue to practice social distancing, it would be counter-productive for hundreds of people to gather in one room to vote. What’s the harm in postponing until May or June, just to be safe? For other states, voting day has already come and gone.

Who Will Be The Next President?

Based on the results so far, Joe Biden looks to be the frontrunner in the Democratic Party with Bernie Sanders not trailing too far behind. Elizabeth Warren and Mike Bloomberg either lost or voluntarily dropped out. As for the Republican Party, 90% of the votes are for Donald Trump, who may likely get re-elected.

With either Trump or Biden in the Oval Office, federal cannabis legalization doesn’t stand a chance. Biden still seems convinced that cannabis is a gateway drug and legalizing it would only increase Americans’ chances of harder drug experimentation. As for Trump, he’s gone back and forth on his promises and policies on a number of occasions. One year he’s pro-cannabis, the next he’s not. One year he’s pro-choice, the next he’s not.

Trump’s Response To COVID-19

The chances of a Trump re-election come down to one crucial factor: how well does he/did he respond to the coronavirus pandemic? A crisis like this requires government action. In many states, governors already made the bold choice to close down bars and restaurants to flatten the curve — with the exception of take-out and delivery. As for Trump, he hasn’t imposed any nation-wide orders (yet), forcing governors to take matters into their own hands.

The Future Of Cannabis

Here’s my prediction: recreational cannabis laws will pass in a handful of states — but federal legalization is off the table for 2020. I can’t imagine Trump or Biden passing federal laws. But hey, it’s still good news that certain states can decide for themselves without Presidential action. What about you — which states do you think will legalize cannabis in 2020? And who do you think will be the next President?