While United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions has reversed federal marijuana enforcement policy, it appears his stance on American marijuana legalization isn’t representative of the country’s politicians or its people.
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Voters in two states chose new governors on Tuesday. Each election — as well as the results of a number of local races across the country — will have huge implications for efforts to legalize marijuana.
Support for legalizing recreational marijuana in the United States has reached an all time high. According to a new a Gallup poll, 64% of Americans support legalizing recreational marijuana, compared to 60% last year and 58% in 2015.
In his temporary budget-dealing with Democrats, President Trump has agreed to continue a ban on using federal funds to interfere in states’ legal cannabis practices, but as 2018 nears, a government stance is largely still up in the air.
Republican and Democratic senators on Wednesday renewed their drive to make banking easier for marijuana businesses in those U.S. states where the drug is legal.
Democrats from Oregon and Colorado–along with a Republican from Kentucky–are proposing bills in the U.S. Congress that would establish federal regulations for marijuana businesses, according to The Hill. Legislation from Oregon’s Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer would get rid of the federal ban on marijuana.
The 2016 General Social Survey revealed an increase in public support for marijuana legalization, according to a March 29, 2017, article on the Washington Post’s Wonkblog. The survey, which is conducted every two years, showed 57 percent of Americans supported marijuana legalization in 2016, up from 52 percent in 2014.
Two Illinois legislators have introduced bills to legalize recreational marijuana in the state. However, state Sen. Heather Steans and state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, both Democrats from the north side of Chicago, said they will not put the bills up for a vote this year. Rather, they will hold hearings on the bills with an eye toward putting them up for a vote next year.
In a nationally broadcast interview on Feb. 26, 2017, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said his state has sovereignty on matters of marijuana, despite the federal government’s anti-pot laws and the new attorney general’s stance as a weed opponent. Hickenlooper was a guest on NBC’s Meet the Press.
Iowans are increasingly supportive of medical marijuana. A new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll found 80 percent of adult Iowans approve of medical marijuana legalization. Iowa has a medical marijuana program, but it only allows people with epilepsy to use low-THC marijuana oil—and that program will expire during the summer of 2017.
Two U.S. congressmen have established a bipartisan Cannabis Caucus, set to meet next year, according to KIVI-TV’s website. U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., founded the caucus in hopes of reforming federal marijuana laws. Rohrabacher said he wants to make states’ rights central to his efforts.
A new report from the Pew Research Center reveals marijuana legalization is gaining support among Americans. Overall, 57 percent of American adults support legalizing pot, while 37 percent do not, according to Pew’s Fact Tank blog. Support for marijuana legalization is at 71 percent among Millennials.
A poll conducted by the Albuquerque Journal has found that nearly two-thirds of New Mexico’s residents would support legalizing recreational marijuana.
Ohio attorneys cannot use medical marijuana or help businesses that offer medicinal cannabis, according to an Aug. 11, 2016, opinion from the state’s Board of Professional Conduct. Medical marijuana is still prohibited by federal law.
Steve Marchand, a Democratic candidate for governor in New Hampshire, advocates legalization of recreational marijuana for adults 21 years of age and older in his state, according to an August 2, 2016, article in the Concord Monitor. Marchand said full legalization could generate $30 million in revenues, based upon figures from other states like Colorado.
Not wanting their protests during the Democratic National Convention to go up in smoke, the men who pushed for the decriminalization of marijuana in Philadelphia informally met with two of the city’s police supervisors.
A new poll shows 66 percent of Utah residents want to legalize medical marijuana, according to an April 27, 2016, article in the Deseret News. The survey, conducted by Utah Policy, revealed 90 percent of the state’s Democrats, 55 percent of its Republicans, and 76 percent of its independents want to allow medical marijuana.
A constitutional ballot amendment legalizing recreational marijuana and industrial hemp in New Mexico has failed to gain approval from state lawmakers.
Three days after presidential candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act” of 2015,” the grand dame of Democratic presidential politics finally changed her position on one of the most pressing political issues in America.
On Oct. 13, 2015, political junkies who just cannot get enough of pre-pre-pre-2016 maneuvering will have the chance to see and hear from the likely Democratic candidates for the nomination. With any luck and some social media pressure, there might even be a question about marijuana legalization.
In South Carolina, the Senate Medical Affairs Subcommittee voted unanimously to advance S672, a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in the state. The five-person panel came to the decision after a two-hour hearing where panel members heard from both opponents and supporters of the bill.
An amendment protecting state medical marijuana programs from federal meddling passed the Senate Appropriations Committee by a vote of 21-9. Of those 9 “nays,” only one was from a Democrat—U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein from California. The Drug Policy Alliance hopes to sway the legislator’s opinion.
When it comes to passing legislation surrounding issues like same sex marriage or legal marijuana, young voters matter.
The biggest boost to cannabis investor confidence would come in the form of governmental assurance that their investments will not be undone.