Looking at the recent spread of liberalized marijuana laws across the United States, it's hard not to think we're entering some kind of Weed Spring. The latest state to act is Maryland, where on Monday the state senate approved a bill legalizing medical marijuana by 42 to 4, sending it to Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is expected to sign it into law. Several state legislatures are considering relaxing their restrictions on marijuana. A majority of Americans now favor legalizing marijuana, and 65 percent of young people support legalizing it, suggesting support will grow. The Justice Department still won't say how it will deal with marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington—it's still banned by the federal government—but officials in both states say they're going ahead. "We intend to move forward with supporting the will of the people," Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson told Talking Points Memo.
That's doesn't mean there haven't been setbacks for the pro-weed crowd in recent years. California voters rejected a legalization initiative in 2010, and Oregon voters did the same in 2012. Bills to legalize weed have died in Hawaii and New Hampshire this year. But as our map GIF above shows, the trajectory is unmistakably toward legalization. Here are four state legislatures debating whether to follow Maryland in 2013: