8 States with a chance to reconsider cannabis.
By: Aaron Diamond
2016 is proving to be a real year of change in the political environment of cannabis : not only will our nation elect a new president by the end of the year, but medical and recreational marijuana legislation will be voted on in a record eight states.
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Nevada will be the focus of attention this November for those looking to develop careers and new business in the future of the American cannabis industry.
However, views from establishments such as the FDA - which sees marijuana as a harmful drug that can be abused and has no medicinal value - will bring a strong resistance to law changes in many if not all of the above states.
Resistance in the form of concerned parents, fighting for drugs to remain illegal in hopes children and teenagers will have a difficult time finding marijuana. Resistance in the form of states that are also worried the legalization of marijuana will mean a massive cut of law enforcement costs. The cannabis industry cannot presume they will have success in all states : as states like California and Florida have had cannabis legislation on the ballot before, but there is much to be optimistic about.
Several states that have already made a home for medical or recreational marijuana, through taxes and licensing fees, have experienced positive societal impact, such as a boost in their budget for education and medical advances.
Citizens of these states subsequently get access to benefits such as pioneering medical technology; which can help them achieve breakthroughs in their illness or disorder.
Also, less legal boundaries to break means less crime and punishment, which in turn means less incarceration for cannabis-related violations. The impact of these eight states looking to legalize marijuana is noticeable in the popularity of the drug, steadily growing among the US electorate, which is good for the industry and society as a whole. President Obama has commented that this - more states legalizing some form of safe access to cannabis - is a necessary step toward federal legalization.
If the majority of the states accept cannabis as an important tool to be utilized in the treatment of both physical illnesses and mental disabilities, then Congress in D.C. will be under even greater pressure to reschedule marijuana for the entire United States.
It seems complete legalization for recreational use is a harder sell when it comes to voters in these states. Throughout all of our country it is clear that the majority of the support stems from a youthful demographic. The aforementioned Florida consists of a large population of retired Americans that prolong prohibition, however the youth of this state are showing increasing interest in the legalization. No matter what your age is, the next three months will be crucial to the future of cannabis industry in the United States.