Medical cannabis is legal in many US states, but it’s still illegal under the federal law. However, medical marijuana lovers and cannabis rights advocates are always putting efforts to legalize the herb across the country. According to a new Gallup Poll, two in three Americans now support legalizing marijuana.
The United States elections on November 06, 2018 didn’t produce the right wave towards the marijuana legalization. Aiming at loosening cannabis laws, voters have shot down some proposals on the state and local levels and rejected some federal candidates.
On November 07, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a major opponent of cannabis legalization, resigned on the request of President Donald Trump.
Now, comes the main questions:
Will the US states continue their operations to legalize medical marijuana?
Does Sessions’ resignation enough to ease the federal laws regarding the legalization of medical cannabis or the new Attorney General will continue the same mindset to block the changes?
States on marijuana legalization
Michigan became the first state in the Midwest to adopt the cannabis legalization allowing adults over the age of 21 to use the herb for recreational purposes. As a result of this, approximately 25% of American adults will be residents of the states where marijuana is legal.
In addition, Utah and Missouri provided legal access to medical marijuana, increasing the number of cannabis legalized states to 33.
Several other states have elected governors who have supported cannabis.
In CA, Jerry Brown will be replaced by Gavin Newsom who put efforts to pass Prop. 64. Maine, New Mexico, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, and Connecticut are some other states that will replace the leaders who aren’t supporters of cannabis.
It’s expected that more medical marijuana legalized states will go for the legalization of recreational marijuana too. However, the legalization of medical cannabis nationally is still a question.
According to the latest analysis by the Marijuana Business Daily, of the 94 cannabis-related local ballot measures, 79 were passed by the voters. Malibu voters favored recreational cannabis businesses in the region, and Santa Ana, Palm Desert, and various other communities voted for additional taxes.
Cannabis legalization at the federal level
Jeff Sessions repealed Cole Memorandum, which was issued during the presidency of Barack Obama by the then Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole. Governors and US Senators of various states have expressed displeasure to the decision.
However, Jeff’s move on the rules of Cole Memo didn’t make a significant impact on cannabis businesses in the states.
Matthew Whitaker is appointed to serve as interim Attorney General who has spoken on both the sides—prosecuting violations of federal laws for marijuana and supporting medical cannabis.
It’s expected that the industry may lose some longtime advocates such as Dana Rohrabacher. Rohrabacher wrote a budget amendment, which acts as a safeguard to state medical marijuana programs.
Marijuana lovers are excited to know what will be the decisions on federal marijuana reform in the next legislative session while Dustin McDonald, Vice President of government relations for Weedmaps, says that let’s see if it will make real changes or became a controversial topic of discussion.