18.06.21 Canada & u.s. Marijuana

June 21, 2018
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GOING TO POT?

Canada becomes the 2nd nation in the world to legalize marijuana – will the U.S. follow suit?

New signs suggest the existing U.S. federal ban against marijuana could become a ban against the federal gov’t interfering in states where it’s legal.

The (many) marijuana laws of the land:

  • In 1996, CA became 1st state to legalize medical marijuana.
  • In 1998, medical marijuana was legal in 5 states. By 2008, that number nearly tripled. Today, it is legal in 29 states + DC.
  • In 2012, Colorado & Washington became 1st statesA to legalize recreational marijuana.A Today, it is legal in 9 states + DC.

Marijuana: State vs. Feds

Marijuana is illegal under federal law. But, as more states began to legalize it within their borders, the federal gov’t shifted its focus away from prosecuting *most* marijuana-related crimes in situations where there is compliance with state laws.

Instead, opting to focus on “serious drug traffickers while taking into account state and local laws.”

Policy Change?

  • January 2018:A Atty General Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama-era policies that eased enforcement of federal marijuana laws, instead opting for a tougher stance.
  • June 2018: Just last week, Pres. Trump indicated he is willing to loosen the federal blanket ban on marijuana in states where it is legal.

Something To Consider:

  • Pres. Trump did NOT say he will end the federal ban on marijuana.
  • However, he DID say he is willing to support a federal bipartisan bill, which would ease enforcement of the federal ban on marijuana in states where it’s legal.
  • The bill would NOT legalize marijuana on the federal level or force states to take any action.

Po$$ible motivation? Economic Benefits. According to one cannabis analytics firm, sales from medical & recreational cannabis will reach $11.7B in 2018 and $25B in 7 years.

by Jenna Lee,

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