Utah and Oklahoma are expected legalize medical marijuana this year despite the fact that both are heavily conservative.
Polls have revealed that 77 percent of voters in Utah and 62 percent in Oklahoma support the legalization of medical marijuana.
If ballot measures are passed in November, the states will join the 30 others that have already legalized the drug for treating a variety of conditions such as chronic pain and arthritis.
Other conservative states including South Dakota and Missouri are also considering medical marijuana laws, which points to a rapid change of attitudes toward cannabis in the past three decades.
‘Consistent with past votes, we anticipate that voters in Utah and Oklahoma this November will decide to amend the law in a manner that comports with available science, public opinion, and the rapidly changing cultural and legal status of cannabis,’ Erik Altieri, executive director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, told Daily Mail Online in a statement.
A 2017 poll from the Pew Research Center found that 61 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana, nearly double the number from two decades ago in 2000.
Opinions of legalization differ by political party, with 70 percent of Democrats supporting it compared with 65 percent of Independents and just 43 percent of Republicans.
However, 90 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana for medical use.
The majority of remaining 20 states that have yet to legalize medical marijuana are conservative, including Utah in Oklahoma.
Both states currently allow the use of cannabidiol or CBD, an oil made from the main compound in cannabis that doesn’t cause a high but can be used to treat some of the same conditions as medical marijuana.
In June residents of Oklahoma will vote to include a proposal on the November ballot that would allow patients apply for a medical marijuana license after receiving a note from their doctors.
The license would permit the possession of up to three ounces of the drug, six mature plants and six seedlings.
A poll by Oklahomans for Health taken in January found that 62 percent of voters supported the proposal.
THE STATE OF MARIJUANA IN 2018
Marijuana is expected to have a big year in 2018 as advocates in several states move to legalize it for medical and recreational use.
Five states including Kentucky, South Dakota and Missouri are considering legalizing the drug for medical use, joining the 30 other states that have already done so.
At least four states including Delaware and Ohio are considering legalizing recreational marijuana, which is currently legal in nine states and Washington, DC.
Medical marijuana states:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- Washington DC
- West Virginia
Recreational marijuana states: