Cannabis reform, long regarded as a West Coast phenomenon, has steadily spread to the East, Midwest, and in 2019, throughout key southeastern U.S. states where lawmakers are embracing lighter restrictions.
The conservative Southern states may be in the midst of reckoning with prohibitionist marijuana policies, as bills aimed at changing state marijuana laws are gaining headway. While efforts to legalize cannabis for adult-use have stalled, lawmakers are increasingly amenable to more modest changes such as decriminalizing the plant or allowing medical use.
And even though only a handful of these bills are expected to cross final legislative finish lines and be enacted by 2019, the momentum being demonstrated by their advancement bodes well for continued efforts in 2020 and beyond.
Here's an overview of the state of marijuana reform legislation in the South.