The past year hasn’t been an easy one for the cannabis industry, as many businesses have felt the heat from the Trump administration.
As of now, there are 29 medical marijuana states and eight states that have approved the plant for recreational use. Other states seem to be still sitting on the sidelines, waiting to see whether or not the plant will be removed from a schedule 1 drug list.
Early this year a marijuana-centric bill was proposed, suggesting that the plant be rescheduled to a schedule Schedule III substance, a classification shared by Tylenol with codeine, ketamine, and dronabinol. This reclassification would definitely be a turn of events for most canna-related businesses and patients, as it would allow for banking activities and create a clear path for research.
While this proposed bill is still being discussed by politicians, the evidence backing the proposition is showing that marijuana could potentially help millions of people worldwide. According to a recent statement by Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN; “It’s time for a medical marijuana revolution.”
Furthermore, according to recent polls, more than 53% favor its legalization, with 77% supporting it for medical purposes.
So What is Stopping Legalization?
While it may seem as if all politicians are against legalization, some are proactively trying to help. Representatives such as Tom Garrett (R-VA) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) have introduced bipartisan legislation, HR 1227, to exclude marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, thus leaving states the authority to regulate the plant how best they see fit.
Numerous plans are underway to get marijuana proposals on ballots in this year, but the arguments backing those proposals are mainly medical. And yet while medical marijuana could help treat a variety of medical conditions it is now thought that the driving factor behind marijuana legalization could come from a different aspect.
Could Marijuana Revenue Save the U.S. Economy?
Since the 70’s, the U.S. government has been running a huge yearly deficit, except for four fiscal years (1998-2001). It currently stands at 19,959,594, which equals to -104% debt to GDP.
According to recent data, sales of medical and recreational cannabis in the U.S. are expected to hit $5-$6 billion this year and surge to $17 billion by 2021. Just imagine how much of that is ending up in state tax coffers. Colorado alone has harvested half a billion dollars in taxes and fees since it legalized recreational weed. And those taxes are going to good use! The state has frequently expressed its opinions about marijuana, and most of its state revenue has been spent on schools and research.
Who Has More Say?
Unlike in the past, where the benefits of marijuana were misunderstood, it is now clear that the cannabinoids within the plant can have a tremendous impact on our bodies, helping us to heal from many different severe conditions.
This is propelling the industry forward towards legalization, but at the same time causing many problems for pharmaceuticals and lobbyists who are not in favor of a change. And why should they be? The current situation is creating millions of dollars from sold pharmaceutical drugs.
With that being said, don’t you think we should put aside our greed and personal interests and remove barriers for states that have decided to legalize marijuana?