12 States Where Recent Pot Legalization and Regulation Legislation Has Died

There's plenty of optimism that recreational marijuana sales will be legalized in more states.

Not long ago, 24/7 Wall Street offered a list of eleven states that could jump on the legalization bandwagon next: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

But progress isn't moving as quickly as some cannabis advocates may have hoped — and we're not just talking about (update) Ohio voters' rejection of a marijuana initiative.

Indeed, legislation to legalize and regulate marijuana sales has died in twelve states, including four on the 24/7 Wall Street roster.

This information comes courtesy of the Marijuana Policy Project, whose recent roundup of state legislative efforts notes a lot of action in regard to this subject but less success to date.

MPP lists 21 states, as well as the District of Columbia, that have introduced bills to legalize and regulate marijuana like alcohol.

Here's the list. We've bolded the twelve where bills died in 2015 (although some of them could come back to life next year) and excluded those in which lawmakers recessed without taking action on the legislation in question.
Arizona (HB 2007, HB 2477, died)
Connecticut (HB 6473, HB 6703, died)
Florida (SB 1176, HB 1297, died)
Georgia (SB 198, SR 6, proposes a constitutional amendment, died)
Hawaii (SB 873, SB 383, HB 717, dead for 2015, but carry over to 2016)
Illinois (HB 4276, SB 753, which unlike the other bills, does not include taxation and regulation)
Louisiana (HB 117 proposes a constitutional amendment, died)
Maine (HP 935, LD 1401, died)
Maryland (SB 531, HB 911, died)
Massachusetts (HB 1561)
Michigan (HB 4877)
Missouri (SB 560, HJR 15 proposes a constitutional amendment, died)
Nevada (The legislature failed to act on the Initiative to Tax and Regulate Marijuana by March 14, so it will appear on the November 2016 ballot.)
New Jersey (A 3094 and S 1896 carried over from 2014)
New Mexico (HB 160, SJR 2, proposes a constitutional amendment, died)
New York (SB 1747, AB 3089, legislature adjourned without acting on bills, but they carry over to 2016)
Pennsylvania (SB 528)
Rhode Island (S 510, H 5777, legislature recessed without acting on bills, but they could be considered in a special session)
Texas (HB 2165, unlike the other bills, this legalization bill does not include taxation and regulation, died)
Vermont (S 95, H 277, dead for 2015, but carry over to 2016)
Washington, D.C. (B21-0023)
Wisconsin (AB 224)
As you can see, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland and Vermont — all cited by 24/7 Wall Street — are among the twelve places where bills died. And the MPP reports that legislation to decriminalize marijuana or approve medical cannabis in seventeen and nineteen states, respectively, have resulted in a lot bill deaths, too. Click here for the details.

What will happen next in locations where bills went belly up? Expect plenty of citizen initiatives to be in place for the 2016 election — a presidential year, when the greater number of young voters taking part tends to give marijuana measures a boost.

In the end, the people could end up doing more than their elected representatives.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts