2018 is shaping up to be a big year for marijuana legalization efforts. With California now joining Oregon, Washington, and Colorado — the momentum has already begun to spread to other states. So far, six additional states already have marijuana proposals on the table for 2018, with more to come.

These newer proposals are significant in that they are being made by lawmakers themselves, rather than popular voter ballots like in California. Although voter-led ballot initiatives have been successful in some states, others require lawmakers to make such proposals.

And lawmakers are beginning to listen.

interviewing lawmakers - AMC

Lawmakers are listening to voters — and proposing  popular marijuana legislation themselves

All of the current eight states with legalized marijuana achieved legalization through voter-led ballot initiatives. This trend has forced lawmakers to come to terms with the growing popularity of marijuana legalization. Many states do not offer voter-led ballot initiatives.

In these states, lawmakers themselves are beginning to step up and propose marijuana legislation themselves. Lawmakers from states like Vermont, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island are recognizing the rising tide toward marijuana legalization and have proposed new marijuana laws for 2018.

Support for marijuana legalization is growing across the board

statue of liberty - AMC

Eight different states (including California) have already passed legalization laws as of 2018. And more are already on the way for the new year. State lawmakers are no longer waiting for voters to jumpstart legalization proposals — they are doing it themselves.

Rather than acting as a political football that lawmakers want to avoid, legalization is becoming an opportunity for senators and lawmakers to deliver meaningful policy that voters want.

And that policy is greater access to marijuana, not less. According to Marijuana Majority, over 60% of Americans nationwide support legalization of marijuana. Most of the country has already made up its mind.

Now it’s time for state lawmakers to do their part.

What about you? Do you think that marijuana legalization has become an irreversible trend for other states to follow?