By Aaron Kesel
According to a report, the medical and recreational marijuana markets in four states could generate an estimated more than $2 billion in combined sales – provided voters pass legalization ballot initiatives on Nov. 6, Marijuana Business Daily reported.
If the states of Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota and Utah vote to pass medical marijuana or recreational use, they will generate a combined $2 billion dollars in annual sales within several years, according to MBD.
The website further reports that if all four states pass marijuana legislation, amending the federal U.S. Controlled Substances Act may not be too far behind. This would allow each state to determine its own marijuana policies not governed by federal law.
It’s also worth noting that if the U.S. House flips to the Democrats, full–scale reform may follow.
“If Democrats are in charge (of the House), I think the momentum will be unstoppable,” U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat, said last week.
While Democrats winning the House may make reform a future possibility “it’s the people in leadership who have the power … and whether they want this to get done sooner or later,” Douglas Berman, an Ohio State University law professor who writes about marijuana policy wrote in a blog post.
In a break with his own administration’s policy under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, U.S. President Donald Trump has previously said he would support a legislative proposal leaving marijuana legalization to the states to decide.
Trump plans to pursue federally legalizing medical marijuana following next month’s midterm races, according to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican.
The Trump administration has made a “solid commitment” to reform marijuana laws, and the president has spoken in support of federally legalizing the plant for medical purposes, Rohrabacher told Fox Business Channel.
“I have been talking to people inside the White House who know and inside the president’s entourage,” Mr. Rohrabacher said, Fox Business reported. “I have talked to them at length. I have been reassured that the president intends on keeping his campaign promise.
“I would expect after the election we will sit down and we’ll start hammering out something that is specific and real,” he added. “It could be as early as spring of 2019, but definitely in the next legislative session.”
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Attorney General Jeff Sessions has previously suggested that the Department of Justice may crack down on people who grow and sell marijuana, even in the now 30 some states that legalized the plant, echoing the drawn-out argument that it is still against federal law.
Federal laws currently classify marijuana as a Schedule I drug — the highest level of classification given to illegal drugs which unfairly puts it in the same category as heroin and ecstasy.
Sessions agrees with that classification and is against the legalization of medical marijuana.
“We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it’s in fact a very real danger,” Sessions said at a Senate hearing on recreational marijuana in April 2016.
Last year, Congress blocked a bill to allow veterans with PTSD access to medical marijuana as a substitute to big pharma’s opioids. Despite Sessions’ opposition to legalization medical marijuana, the drug has been shown to reverse a decade of rising opioid deaths in Colorado.
However, Congress isn’t giving Sessions the funds that he wants to start his revival of the war against marijuana, as Congress itself has increased support for the legalization of the drug and has denied Sessions money to fight his new crusade.
“Most of you probably know I don’t think America is going to be a better place when more people of all ages and particularly young people start smoking pot,” Sessions said during an exchange with reporters at the Justice Department. “I believe it’s an unhealthy practice and current levels of THC in marijuana are very high compared to what they were a few years ago.”
“We’re seeing real violence around that,” Sessions said. “Experts are telling me there’s more violence around marijuana than one would think and there’s big money involved.”
Since Congress didn’t give Sessions any money to fight his war on drugs, it remains to be seen how he will accomplish his goal; but his stance is clear as day: he hates marijuana users, sellers and growers despite the growing support to finally legalize the drug for medical use within Congress.
That might be closer to reality than Sessions hopes if the House is flipped in favor of the Democrats. If the House is flipped and Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota and Utah vote to pass medical marijuana or recreational use the states will have a whole new revenue stream.
Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.
Image credit: The Anti-Media