Over the last few years, a number of states have decided to allow their citizens to legally possess and use recreational marijuana. While this has ruffled a few feathers in Washington and in neighboring states, the country has by and large accepted these new laws and wished these pioneering states well.
Many other states have even considered following the lead of Colorado, Washington and Oregon; Alaska, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine all voted to decriminalize marijuana in the 2016 election. Arizona had a legalization measure on the ballot, but it was narrowly defeated. Many other states, including Maryland, Ohio and Michigan have also considered legalizing marijuana.
But no matter what cultural trends sweep the nation, or how much momentum the decriminalization movement attains, these five states will keep their heels firmly planted in the dirt, and resist all efforts to legalize cannabis.
Home to the anti-pot-crusading senator Jeff Sessions, Alabama takes pride in its resistance to the decriminalization efforts occurring across the country. Unfortunately, Senator Sessions has been nominated by president elect Donald Trump to be the nation’s new Attorney General, which may effectively export Alabama’s backward attitude all over the country.
Despite their laid-back attitudes toward alcohol, Louisiana does not look kindly upon marijuana. Even a simple possession charge can saddle local citizens with lengthy jail terms and heavy fines. Nevertheless, Louisiana lawmakers did just pass legislation that allows for limited use of medical marijuana.
Nebraska was one of the first states to start complaining when neighboring Colorado begin allowing the legal use of recreational marijuana. Fearing that sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll were about to start pouring over their border, they took Colorado to federal court (fortunately, they lost).
There may be no place like home, but let’s just say there are better places for cannabis users to call home than Kansas. One of the few states without any provisions for the medical use of marijuana, Kansas has a decidedly anti-marijuana culture that makes it unlikely to legalize weed in the near future.
Oklahoma is basically a more conservative, less diverse version of Texas. So even when Texas gets things right (such as debating the decriminalization of marijuana), Oklahoma fails to keep up with the changing times. However, in a shocking turn of events, Oklahoma citizens did back a new law, which re-classified all marijuana possession crimes as misdemeanors.
With their country-values and socially conservative population, Iowa is not likely to allow its residents to smoke marijuana anytime soon. Like many other states on this list that are unlikely to decriminalize cannabis, Iowa doesn’t even allow its residents to use marijuana medicinally.
While few states in the deep south are likely to decriminalize marijuana any time soon, South Carolina is likely the most socially conservative state in the region. Accordingly, you’ll likely see Georgia, North Carolina and Florida legalize marijuana before The Palmetto state does.