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Election 2016: Victories for Freedom
We had previously stated that November 8, 2016 could be a historical day for cannabis in America and in that respect the day didn’t disappoint. Four of five states voting on legalizing marijuana approved their initiatives! In addition, voters approved medical marijuana initiatives in all four states where it was on the ballot. This is huge news. Eight states (including the most populous state in the nation) and Washington DC allow for adult use of marijuana, while twenty eight states allow for the medical use of cannabis.
Where is Recreational Marijuana Legal Now?
California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada were the states that voted to legalize marijuana (a summary of voting and the measures). These states joined DC, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington in ending marijuana prohibition on the state level. 68 million Americans (21% of the population) now live somewhere that allows for adult recreational use of marijuana.
Arizona was the lone state where the vote for legalization failed. A deep pocketed and misleading propaganda machine funded by the makers of a dangerous painkiller helped insure the failure of the proposition. However, the narrow defeat (47.8% to 52.2%) leaves hope that legalization could be in the state’s near future.
What about Medical Marijuana?
Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota all passed medical marijuana initiatives (full details here) to join the many Americans who have access to the healing properties of cannabis. In Florida, over 71% of voters approved a measure to expand the medicinal marijuana measure despite millions of dollars spent in ridiculous and misleading ads.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”1285″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
What about Marijuana at a Federal Level?
In a recent interview with Bill Maher on November 4th, President Barack Obama said that current federal marijuana policy was “untenable” and that the laws would have to change if more states were to allow for recreational use of marijuana. While the DEA recently denied a rescheduling petition for marijuana, many prominent politicians (including Hillary Clinton) have favored rescheduling marijuana to allow for further tests that could lead to a lifting of prohibition on the federal level. Current prohibition has been a massive drain on the economy as enforcing marijuana laws as well as the cost of arrest and punishment costs US taxpayers 7.7 billion dollars a year.
In the immediate future, there are questions as to what stance President-elect Donald Trump will take in regard to marijuana policy. As far back as 1990, Trump stated fully legalizing marijuana might be the only way to win the war on drugs. However, he has changed his tune recently, stating that he is in favor of allowing medical marijuana at the federal level but not for recreational use.
For optimists, there is reason to believe Trump’s support of states rights will mean that he will let states govern themselves as they wish, in regards to marijuana. This would mirror the approach of the Obama administration.
However, recent discussions of possible cabinet members that would serve under Donald Trump are somewhat concerning. If Rudy Giuliani or Chris Christie were to become Attorney General and were given full reign to execute the laws as they wish, that could be disastrous for marijuana. Both politicians vocally oppose BOTH medical and recreational cannabis use, and were criticized for ignoring civil liberties as politicians.
In the end, enforcing marijuana law and punishing states could be politically disastrous. Recent polls show that at least 60% of the public supports the legalization of cannabis for recreational use and 89% of Americans support medical marijuana. As a businessman, Trump is likely aware of the danger of attacking thriving businesses, and should see what a losing proposition the enforcing of prohibition would be in the United States.
As more news about the federal government and marijuana becomes available, we will keep you updated.
Best wishes, dreamers![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]