11 States Least Likely to Legalize Marijuana

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10. Utah
> Max. fine for small amount:
$1,000
>Marijuana related arrests in 2012: 5,641
>Marijuana arrests per 100,000: 197.6
>Minimum penalty classification: Misdemeanor

Utah’s eastern neighbor, Colorado, recently legalized recreational marijuana use. While the close proximity may improve access for Utah’s pot smokers, Utah will likely still be among the last states to legalize the substance. Getting caught selling marijuana in Utah could mean a felony charge and over a decade in prison. Merely possessing certain amounts of pot can also result in a felony charge in the state. Utah, however, regulates the use of limited concentrations of cannabidiol — THC oil — for specific medical treatment. A bill protecting medical marijuana users was narrowly defeated earlier this year.

As in most of the least likely states to legalize marijuana, relatively few Utah residents smoke pot. Just 8.8% of residents 12 years and older report the habit, a lower percentage than in every state other than Kansas. Utah residents also report the lowest alcohol consumption in the nation.


11. Wyoming
> Max. fine for small amount:
$1,000
>Marijuana related arrests in 2012: 2,303
>Marijuana arrests per 100,000: 399.5
>Minimum penalty classification: Misdemeanor

Marijuana possession for personal use is severely punished in Wyoming. Even more severe is the penalty for marijuana use alone, which is up to half a year in jail in conjunction with a $750 fine. Further, those found in possession of more than three ounces of marijuana face felony charges, a $10,000 fine, and up to five years in prison. And there is no indication the state’s strict laws are going to change anytime soon. The state legislature shot down a bill earlier this year that would have effectively decriminalized pot possession.

Presenting yet another obstacle, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead is an outspoken critic of marijuana legalization. Earlier this year, Mead told the state’s Marijuana Impact Assessment Council during its inaugural meeting that legalization in other states has led to increased trafficking of other, still illegal drugs, including methamphetamine and heroin indicating Mead is not likely to change his mind in the near future.

Click here to see the next 11 states to legalize marijuana.