Cannabis is listed in Schedule I of Controlled Substances Act and thus, is federally illegal. Over the time, starting with Oregon, States started to decriminalize cannabis. California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational cannabis.
Today, medical marijuana is legal in twenty-nine states and recreational marijuana in nine states. The cannabis industry has come a long way in process legalization. It is expected that the number of states with legalized marijuana would double by the presidential elections in 2020.
But what is worth noting is that all of a sudden Politicians on both sides, including the President, have come forward to help even more States legalize marijuana. Some recent noticeable events are:
- Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said that he will support decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level and will advocate for bills to help marijuana businesses grow.
- President Donald Trump promised a top Senate Republican from Colorado that he’ll protect states that have legalized marijuana which is its contrast to what his Attorney General did early this year.
- The House of Representatives held one of its first hearings ever on legislation to roll back medical marijuana regulations.
- Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner announced that he’d join a board of directors for a cannabis company. He was “unalterably opposed” to cannabis.
- An October Gallup poll found record-high support for legalizing marijuana, including among Republicans (51 percent). Seventy-two percent of Democrats supported it and 64 percent of all Americans.
The question is why aren’t more politicians tilting in favor cannabis industry. In 2016, voters in Arkansas, North Dakota and Florida overwhelmingly approved medical marijuana legalization. Trump won in all these States. The increasing public knowledge evolved thinking and public acceptance of marijuana has brought the politician’s attention and support towards it. There are many contributing factors towards the sway of voting and the political agenda, but as it stands right now the majority vote is in favor of legalization on all fronts.