For cannabis advocates and the marijuana industry at large, the midterm elections have been like a break in the clouds of an overcast year. All that changed on election day. Or so we hope.
For cannabis advocates and the marijuana industry at large, the midterm elections have been like a break in the clouds of an overcast year. The year began with a gloomy forecast as AG Jeff Sessions rolled back Obama era guidelines for the DOJ. Meanwhile, Washington D.C. lawmakers made only incremental progress on Federal cannabis policy reform. All that changed on election day. Or so we hope.
Americans may not agree on much these days, but one point on which we are clearly in agreement is cannabis reform and putting an end to federal prohibition of marijuana. Approximately two-thirds of Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana in one form or another, while three-quarters are in agreement that medical marijuana is a good thing. A poll release earlier in 2018 by the Center for American Progress showed 68 percent of U.S. residents support legalization. That’s up from the 12 percent measured by Gallop in 1969.
These sentiments have been rising for some time and are reflected in the fact that today more than 40 U.S. states have marijuana reforms on the books while ten have legalized marijuana for non-medical purposes. And nine of those have set up regulated markets.
Up until November 6th, this groundswell of support was not enough to tip the balance of power in Washington in favor of cannabis reform. Now, with three House Democrats poised to chair major House committees all having pledged to put marijuana reform on the agenda in the next session of Congress, the climate in Washington seems to be turning.
Some of the big, hairy issues which are now sure to gather steam include states’ rights, racial justice, banking and tax reforms, and sensible scheduling of cannabis by the DEA.