The grass in the law: how to change the status of marijuana in the United States in 2020

With the beginning of the use of marijuana for recreational purposes became legal in only one state – Illinois. Other States may follow suit in 2020, several more States intend to include in the ballot recreational marijuana. At the Federal level cannabis is still considered an illegal substance, says CNBS.

Трава в законе: как изменился статус марихуаны в США в 2020 году

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According to a survey by CBS News Poll, in 2019, the legal cannabis support reached a new high. 65% of adult Americans said that marijuana should be legal. And, for the first time in CBS News poll, most Republicans (56%) were in favor of legal marijuana. While people aged 65 and over remain the least supported legalization of marijuana and 45% in the survey of 2019.

This trend was reflected in the state legislatures. So thirty-three States in some form of legalized marijuana, according to the National conference of state legislatures. In 2012, when Colorado and Washington became the first two States to legalize recreational use of cannabis, only 11 States have legalized recreational marijuana.

Currently marijuana is legal for recreational use in: Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and the district of Columbia. January 1, 2020 Illinois became the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana.

Illinois is now the second state in the Midwest after Michigan in 2018, which legalized the sale and use of recreational marijuana.

What to expect?

It is expected that several States will vote for measures to use marijuana in a recreational area in the year 2020, while others are preparing similar laws.

According to surveys, more than 65 percent of the voters of Florida “want to expand access to cannabis for those 21 years and older.”

However, this milestone seems to have fallen into the trap. Tuesday, 31 December 2019 “Make It Legal” sued the state, arguing that the new law on elections has imposed restrictions on the process of ballot initiatives that have restricted their ability to collect signatures. Staff confirmed 219 290 signed petitions from Make It Legal — only 28% of the total number of signatures required by the deadline of February 1.


Democrats in the state are preparing the law about marijuana, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune . The majority leader in the House of representatives Ryan Winkler (D) goes on to state with this issue, trying to prepare the bill in February.
The Republican-controlled Senate, however, gives a low chance for success, since key conservative leaders are still against legalization.

New York

Last year was unsuccessful for legislative action on the issue of legalizing marijuana in the Empire state.

Despite the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, the measure legalizing marijuana for adults was not successful. Legislators lowered the right of possession of administrative offences to a fine, but according to the new York police Department, people that have drug in excess of two ounces, it is still possible to arrest.

New Jersey

According to the Associated Press, state will vote for the legalization of recreational marijuana in November 2020. If the measure passes, residents of new Jersey 21 years will be allowed to use cannabis for recreation. All sales of cannabis will be subject to sales tax in the amount of 6.625% .


The attorney General of Virginia mark herring called for the “immediate decriminalization” of possession of small amounts of marijuana and cannabis organized a summit in December to inform heads of state about what steps need to be taken to achieve this goal.

The bill can get support, because the Senate now controlled by Democrats who tend to support.

According to WTVR, a bill about marijuana, which was submitted to the session of the state 2020, SB 2, would have decriminalized possession of marijuana and would increase the amount of allowable marijuana half ounce to one.


January 1, 2020 in California came into effect two new laws that clarify the tax laws related to the legal cannabis industry in the state.
Senate bill No. 34 permits to licensed cannabis retailers to donate cannabis to patients with low income and exempts these products from taxes.

The Assembly bill 37 allows businesses in the cannabis industry to claim deductions and credits available to other legitimate businesses in the state.
Governor Democrat Gavin Newsom signed these bills, but “reluctantly” vetoed another bill on cannabis, which would require some medical institutions allow terminally ill patients to use medical cannabis. In the message explaining his decision, Newsom wrote that the requirement would put Medicaid patients and Medicare at risk of losing insurance coverage.

Can the legalization at the Federal level in 2020?

As at the Federal level cannabis is still considered an illegal substance, most banks are not allowed to do business with companies producing marijuana. To overcome this obstacle, the legislature adopted the Law on banking security and fair enforcement (SAFE) that will protect banks that cooperate with the enterprises for production of cannabis.

The law was passed by the House, led by Democrats, but is expected to fail in the Senate, after the Chairman of the banking Committee Mike Krapo, a Republican, expressed strong opposition in December.

The same fate is likely for the Federal legalization of cannabis.

In November, the Judicial Committee of the house of representatives has approved a bill that would have decriminalized marijuana at the Federal level. The law on reinvestment and empowerment of marijuana from 2019, or the Law MORE. Now his chances are high in the house, controlled by Democrats, than in the Senate, controlled by Republicans, where the future of the bill uncertain.