Map with cannabis
If you find your state in this article, we hope you can get involved somehow. Strength in numbers!

This year is shaping up to be a very big year for cannabis reform, and not just in states that recently voted to legalize cannabis for medical or adult use.

Parts of America that were long thought to be off limits for cannabis reform are now in play. Cannabis reform has been introduced in almost every state legislature (if not all states) in America at some point. But bills that died quickly in years past have a whole new set of legs.

Fortunately more and more elected officials are recognizing the wellness benefits that cannabis can provide are significant, and people everywhere should have safe access to it.

So as state legislatures ramp up for the upcoming legislative season, cannabis is indeed a very hot topic. Below are bills that have been introduced, or were pre-filed, in states that may surprise you.

If you live in any of these states hopefully you are inspired to contact your elected officials and let them know that you support cannabis reform.

And if you do want to get involved, Drug Policy Alliance has put together a brilliant toolkit you can use for interacting with legislators.

Indiana

Indiana Senate Bill 255 would legalize cannabis for medical use in Indiana. Currently, possessing any amount of cannabis is a misdemeanor in Indiana while possession of over 30 grams is a felony. You can find out how to contact your Indiana State Senators at this link here.

South Carolina

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in South Carolina announced that they intend to push a medical cannabis bill this session. One of the bill's sponsors, Senator Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) has been pushing for medical cannabis for months now.

Possession of up to an ounce of cannabis is a misdemeanor in South Carolina, even for patients. Anything above that is a felony. If you live in South Carolina, you can contact your legislators at this link here.

Missouri

The State of Missouri came very close to seeing medical cannabis on the ballot in 2016. Multiple efforts for medical cannabis reform are underway, and a bill was introduced at the start of the session that would legalize cannabis for adult use too.

Missouri is a conservative state, and polling that I have seen out of there has not been favorable for adult-use legalization. But anything is possible, especially if lawmakers hear from enough constituents. You can find out how to contact your Missouri Representative at this link here.

Wisconsin

Rumblings about medical cannabis reform in Wisconsin is not new, but a lot has changed in recent years. Wisconsin is bordered by Minnesota and Illinois, which both have successful (albeit limited) medical cannabis programs.

With support for reform spreading nationally, talks are heating up in Wisconsin about a push for medical cannabis legalization. Wisconsin's Assembly Speaker stated publicly that he would consider it. Click here to find your legislator in Wisconsin and let them know that Wisconsin patients deserve safe access.

Georgia

Georgia is going to see a particularly interesting effort to legalize medical cannabis through a two-step process. The first step will be Georgia Republican Representative Allen Peake getting his medical cannabis referendum through the Georgia Legislature.

If successful, it would put medical cannabis on the ballot, at which point step two would involve educating voters on the benefits of medical cannabis, and pushing for victory on Election Day.

With Louisiana, Arkansas, and Florida legalizing medical cannabis, Georgia doing the same doesn't seem that far-fetched. You can find out how to contact your lawmakers in Georgia at this link here.

Nebraska

Nebraska once sued Colorado over its cannabis laws. Fortunately that case was dismissed. Nebraska will likely see a medical cannabis bill introduced this year. I don't expect the chances to be great, but that can all change if enough people contact their legislators and get them on the right side of history.

Texas

Texas is a hotbed for legislative cannabis reform activity this session. Multiple bills have been filed dealing with medical cannabis and cannabis decriminalization.

Texas does not have a citizen initiative process, so the Texas Legislature is the only way to reform cannabis laws in the state. I strongly suggest you contact your legislator early and often and let them know that you support sensible cannabis laws, and that they should too.

Tennessee

A medical cannabis bill was introduced late last year in Tennessee, and has a tremendous amount of support out of the gate.

That's not to say that the bill has an easy path to becoming law. Far from it. It's vital that Green Flower readers in Tennessee contact their legislators and let them know that patients are suffering in Tennessee, and they deserve to be able to make the safer choice by choosing cannabis.

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Cannabis laws are not going to reform themselves. It is up to the citizens of each state to put pressure on their elected officials, to educate them, and to hold them accountable.

Patients’ lives are hanging in the balance in these states. They are not traditionally considered to be 'cannabis friendly' and as such, there is a lot of stigma surrounding the plant.

You can do your part if you live in those states by contacting your lawmakers and letting them know that they should do the right thing and support reform bills. If you are looking to stay up-to-date with cannabis bills across the country (including where you live), I strongly suggest checking out NORML's legislative action tool regularly.