By Steve Elliott
With laws taking effect last week legalizing recreational marijuana in both Alaska and Washington, D.C., a researcher into the history of cannabis has predicted the next five U.S. states where voters will likely approve the use of pot for relaxation and enjoyment.
University of Kansas geography professor Barney Warf, author of "High Points: An Historical History of Cannabis," published in the peer-reviewed Geographical Review in September 2014, said legalization can be "hard to predict," but he made his forecast of the next states expected to legalize, "based on current laws and voter leanings."
"All five of these states have legal medical marijuana and tend to be liberal or libertarian in voting patterns," Warf said.
The Next Five States Where Recreational Marijuana Could Be Legal
1. California: "Recreational cannabis almost was legalized in the past, and California voters are sure to do so in 2016," Warf said.
2. Nevada:: "Nevada shares the libertarian sentiments of Alaska."
3. Vermont: "There's a strong liberal tradition there in Vermont."
4. Illinois: "The Land of Lincoln is surprisingly progressive on this issue."
5. New York:: "New York legalized medical marijuana last year."