Every state in the nation could be on track to legalize marijuana for medicinal or recreational use by the year 2021, suggests a new report.
Last year will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the biggest in the grand scheme of pot reform across the United States, with voters in California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada deciding to bring down the scourge of prohibition, once and for all. These states have joined Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska in running a tax and regulated cannabis trade that allow adults 21 and over to buy weed in the same manner as they do alcohol.
According to the latest research by GreenWave Advisors, the marijuana legalization movement is on the cusp of expanding into a significant number of additional states within the next few years. Already, there is momentum to get marijuana-related initiatives on the ballots in 2018 and 2020, which could lead to marijuana being made legal in all 50 states within the next four year, reports the Motley Fool.
At this point, the only deterrent would be if President Trump and his Attorney General (Jeff Sessions) decide to send in the cavalry to dismantle the marijuana industry in states that have already established a legal trade. But that seems to be easier said than done.
During a recent interview with national talk radio host Hugh Hewitt, Sessions admitted that, “It’s not possible for the federal government, of course, to take over everything the local police used to do in a state that’s legalized it.” What’s more is, while AG Sessions is not a fan of marijuana legalization, the goal of Trump’s Department of Justice seems to be more focused on crippling the drug cartels rather than businesses operating in legal states. Yet, there are still no guarantees that legal weed is safe.
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If the industry manages to stay intact, GreenWave predicts the nationwide marijuana market could be worth approximately $30 billion in retail sales alone by 2021.
A similar report published earlier this year by Arcview Market Research and New Frontier Data shows the whole of the national cannabis industry could be worth around $22 billion by 2020. The report shows the market would likely contribute more than a quarter of a million of new jobs to the American workforce, which is more than the manufacturing and government sectors combined
Now more than ever, people are looking to legal marijuana as a salvation’s wing for local and state economies. In just the past two weeks, The Fresh Toast has reported on how communities in Pennsylvania and Ohio are looking to their respective state’s medical marijuana laws to put hundreds of people back to work. These blue-collar towns are simply looking to resurrect the American Dream at a time when traditional industries have left them for dead.
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Perhaps it is for this reason that more Americans now support the legalization of marijuana than ever before. Some of the latest national data shows that around 60 percent of the population believes weed should be handled in a manner similar to beer.
But it is going to take an act of Congress to bring this concept to life – something that doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon.
Although some marijuana reformers often create hype around the issue each time a federal marijuana bill attracts an additional co-sponsor, there is still nowhere near enough support on Capitol Hill to bring the nation anywhere close to ending prohibition.