Marijuana prohibition is quickly dissolving in the U.S., but it probably won’t vanish all at once. Even if Congress repeals federal marijuana prohibition, certain states will likely ban marijuana on a state level.
If Congress acts, it will probably wait until a majority of states have implemented some type of marijuana legalization law. The legalization process is already well underway and should continue to gain momentum by election day in 2016.
Here is a list of 9 states that will most likely be the last to legalize or possibly never legalize marijuana:
1. Alabama - This Bible Belt state still has several dry (alcohol prohibited) counties and about a third of the counties in the state are either partially dry or have localities that are completely dry.
2. Idaho - This Mormon-influenced state has passed a no-THC/high-CBD law, but campaigners for medical marijuana haven’t been able to qualify a measure for the ballot.
3. Kansas - A Republican dominated state with no initiative process and little support for marijuana legalization.
4. Louisiana - The state has some of the country’s harshest marijuana, including up to 20 years in prison for repeat possession offenders and up to life in prison for marijuana possession if the person has a previous felony.
5. North Dakota - The agricultural state has approved industrial hemp production (in part because North Dakota farmers can see their Canadian counterparts just across the border profiting from it), but is unwilling to move even on medical marijuana, let alone legalization.
6. Oklahoma - The state is dominated by Republicans and is one of the most conservative in the country.
7. South Carolina - There is no initiative process here, so it will be up to the legislature, which is controlled by Republicans.
8. South Dakota - The state has the initiative process, but it also has the dubious distinction of being the only state to twice defeat medical marijuana at the polls.
9. Utah - The Mormon heartland, another state where Republicans dominate the government and where the only legislative concession to marijuana law reform has been the passage of a no-THC/high-CBD marijuana oil bill.