11 States Least Likely to Legalize Marijuana

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4. Idaho
> Max. fine for small amount:
$1,000
>Marijuana related arrests in 2012: 4,060
>Marijuana arrests per 100,000: 254.4
>Minimum penalty classification: Misdemeanor

Idaho is home to some of the most draconian marijuana laws in the country. A first time offender caught with 3 ounces or less of the drug for personal use can face up to one year of incarceration along with a $1,000 fine. Possession of more than 3 ounces in Idaho is a felony punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

Already, 23 states allow for physician approved use of medical marijuana, with many others poised to join the ranks as early as next year. Idaho, however, is not one of them. Earlier this year, the state legislature approved a bill that would allow seriously ill Idahoans to use low potency cannabis oils to treat specific conditions. Despite its relatively limited scope, Governor Butch Otter vetoed the bill before it became law. With strict criminal penalties and a demonstrated lack of political will for even modest legal reforms, Idaho is one of the least likely states to legalize marijuana in the foreseeable future.

5. Indiana
> Max. fine for small amount:
$1,000
>Marijuana related arrests in 2012: 13,224
>Marijuana arrests per 100,000: 202.3
>Minimum penalty classification: Misdemeanor

According to a 2013 statewide poll, 52% of Indiana residents support making marijuana a regulated substance — similar to alcohol and tobacco. Only 45% of those polled opposed such potential legislation. Despite a majority of residents’ support for legalization of pot, Indiana is home to some of the harshest marijuana laws in the country. Possession of a single marijuana cigarette is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine. Second time offenders caught with 30 grams or more — the equivalent of about an ounce or more — of the drug face felony charges and up to two and a half years of incarceration.

Indiana attempted to pass legislation that would actually strengthen anti-marijuana laws by making penalties for possession even more draconian. Such legislation is uncommon in a year where progressive reforms largely defined marijuana use and possession. The proposed bills did not move forward, however. Roughly 11% of state residents 12 years and older report using marijuana, a slightly smaller share than the 12.3% national share.

6. Kansas
> Max. fine for small amount:
$2,500
>Marijuana related arrests in 2012: 6,095
>Marijuana arrests per 100,000: 211.2
>Minimum penalty classification: Misdemeanor

Despite a voter approved initiative decriminalizing possession for first time offenders in the city of Wichita earlier this year, Kansas as a state is not likely to adopt similar progressive marijuana reform anytime soon. State Attorney General Derek Schmidt claims the proposal in Wichita is unlawful as it directly conflicts with state laws. Even modest proposals, such as the medicinal use of cannabidiol to treat patients suffering from seizures, have been blocked in the state senate. Facing some of the strictest laws in the country, second time offenders caught with as little as a single gram will face felony charges, up to three and a half years incarceration, and a $100,000 fine. Perhaps due to harsh penalties, the state has the lowest pot usage rate in the country. Only 8.2% of state residents aged 12 years and older use marijuana.