US states vote for recreational use of weed, but Trump’s incoming cabinet are hardline anti-legalisation
4 out of 5 US states have voted to legalise the sale and use of marijuana for recreational purposes amidst the presidential election. Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, and California voters all supported new pro-pot legislation, while Arizonians voted against legalisation with 52.1 percent. They will still keep their medical marijuana laws.
With a total of 1,941,354 votes cast in Arizona, a substantial number of the voting public simply did not care, but those that did made their voices heard. They were supported by an impressive anti-weed lobby, which consisted of donations of $1 million from Discount Tire Co., $500,000 from Las Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson, and another $500,000 from Chandler based pharmaceutical company INSYS Therapeutics Inc.
It’s still not clear what a tire company has to gain from stopping people consuming a relatively harmless plant, but the flagrant hypocrisy of Adelson and INSYS is clear. Don’t touch the devil’s lettuce, but feel free to get drunk and gamble away your savings in casinos or take a fentanyl spray, which has been linked to deaths. INSYS were even caught falsifying patient records so the synthetic opioid could be prescribed to non-cancer pain patients!
… You cannot overdose on pot
New Frontier Data and Arcview Market Research has estimated the US marijuana industry will be worth over $21 billion by 2020, off the back of new recreational and medical laws. In Massachusetts this means citizens over the age of 21 can possess up to 10 ounces, it’s 2.5 ounces for private use in Maine, and a single ounce in Nevada and California. Each state is formulating their own rules in terms of growing, selling, transporting and public usage.
Yet despite the massive step forward the drug is still outlawed federally and not recognised in treating any medical condition. The industry is essentially operating on a “we hope they leave us alone” mentality, which could go terribly wrong if the president simply decided to crack down.
Enter Donald Trump. He himself has said he would honor states rights regarding marijuana and supports its medicinal use. However he’s been wishy-washy over recreational use, and the front-runners for his administration don’t have the best track record.
Senator Jeff “good people don’t smoke marijuana” Sessions, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani are in contention to be Attorney General, and they are hardline anti-legalisation.
Newt Gingrich, who is in line for Secretary of State publicly refuses to acknowledge marijuana’s medical benefits and once proposed the death penalty for possession!
If these are the people Trump is surrounding himself with, pot users and businesses have a right to be concerned. On paper it could all be shut down over night. What certainly won’t happen is federal legalisation, not with Republicans controlling everything.