Ohio just legalised recreational marijuana. These states could be next

Ohio just legalised recreational marijuana. These states could be next

Voters in Ohio have approved a ballot measure to legalse recreational marijuana in the state.

The vote means Ohio has become the 24th US state to legalise marijuana for recreational use. Medical marijuana has been legal in Ohio since 2016.

Ohio residents aged 21 and over will now be able to use, grow or sell marijuana under a regulation-and-tax program imposed by the state.

The measure is set to take effect in 30 days.

The legalisation of marijuana is a divisive issue, with opponents arguing that the drug is harmful to users and is linked to respiratory problems and mental illness, while supporters say that legalisation enables cannabis to be better regulated and taxed.

While possessing marijuana is still a federal crime in the US, President Joe Biden has announced pardons for prior offenses of simple marijuana possession, and the Justice Department is taking a hands-off approach in states that have approved its recreational use.

The measures are part of a steady advance in the US towards relaxing regulations surrounding marijuana, with the drug already legal for recreational use in 24 states including Delaware, Minnesota and California, and more states could soon follow in their footsteps.

Where could be next?


A proposal to legalise recreational marijuana in Florida has received enough signatures to qualify for the 2024 general election ballot.

The initiative has received nearly one million verified signatures, according to campaign officials, reaching the necessary threshold to qualify the proposal for the 2024 general election ballot.

If the proposal is passed, it would legalise the use and possession of up to three ounces of marijuana for adults aged 21 and older.

Florida legalised the sale of medical marijuana in 2016 and it has since become a billion-dollar business in the state, with legal sales of the drug reaching $1.04 billion as of July 2022.

Marijuana is legal for recreational use in 24 states (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Marijuana is legal for recreational use in 24 states (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who is also running for president, has expressed openness to the use of medical marijuana, but he has vigorously opposed the legalisation of the substance for recreational use, arguing that it “hurts our workforce readiness” and “people’s ability to prosper.”


A bipartisan bill called SB846, co-authored by Republican state senator Dan Laughlin and Democratic state senator Sharif Street could legalise marijuana in Pennsylvania.

However, the push to legalise the drug in the state has been ongoing since before the pandemic, and has so far failed to win enough Republican support to pass.

Two out of every three registered voters support adult-use cannabis in the state, according to a 2022 CBS News poll.

Despite this, marijuana attorney Brian Vicente said Pennsylvania lags behind other states in its efforts to legalise the drug.

“Pennsylvania is just a tougher hill to climb,” he told NBC. “We haven’t had the same momentum in the legislature there but the governor does support it, so it’s possible it gets through this year.”

Democratic Pennsylvania governor Josh Shapiro has proposed taxing legal, adult-use marijuana, in a measure that would bring in $188 million in revenue to the state by the end of the decade.

“We can cut costs, legalise recreational marijuana, and raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania,” he tweeted in March.


Arkansas, a state known for its conservative politics, is gradually warming up to the idea of cannabis legalisation.

Republican state senator Joshua Bryant filed a bill in February that would place a constitutional amendment on the 2024 general election ballot to legalise recreational marijuana in Arkansas.

The proposal follows a failed effort to pass legalisation at the polls in 2022.


A group led by a Nebraska state lawmaker is attempting to put the question of legalising medical marijuana before state voters in November 2024.

It will be the third time Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana have launched a petition effort after two previous efforts failed.

So far, attempts have failed to garner enough support to legalise marijuana for medical use, or even to get it onto the ballot paper.

A new proposal would ask voters to legalise the possession, manufacture, distribution, delivery and dispensing of marijuana for medical reasons and would establish a commission to regulate a state medical cannabis program.

South Dakota

Marijuana advocates are renewing the push to legalise the drug for recreational use in South Dakota.

A petition to get a measure that would legalize the recreational use, possession, and distribution of marijuana on the 2024 ballot is currently pending.

Supporters need to get 17,509 valid petition signatures for the measure to be on the 2024 ballot.

It comes after the state voted to legalise recreational marijuana in 2020 before the move was struck down by the state Supreme Court.