5 Real Reasons Marijuana is here to Stay.
The Blossoming of a Brand New, Old Industry.
In the United States, public support for marijuana legalization is at an all-time high, with well over half the population now siding with this new green friendly initiative. As of last year, 54% of the US population is now in favor of legalization. Add to that the general growing consensus of over 76% of the population who… well, just don’t think marijuana is all that bad… that it shouldn’t lead to jail time, and that it certainly isn’t the demon it was once made out to be, and you may in fact have yourself a slam dunk recipe for the “next big thing”. These numbers are even higher now. But what does that mean for the future?
In case you haven’t been following all this… Here’s a quick rundown of a few things you may (or may not) have missed…
The Majority Trend
The president of the United States doesn’t think marijuana is all that bad. No more dangerous than alcohol actually. Maybe even less? 69% of Americans believe this to be the case, that it is less dangerous, which is probably a bit more significant than Mr. Obama’s views actually…
In any case, it would seem that the vast majority of American’s now have enough evidence to weigh a more rational comparison of facts than they did in years past in coming up with their consensus… and I’m sure were all smart enough to weigh the damage uncle Ted caused driving into the neighbor’s house drunk, vs. exactly how many powdered donuts your roommate didn’t quite O.D. on last night when he/she had a raging case of the munchies.
I must say, I’ve personally never known anyone who had a marijuana induced car wreck (though I’m not saying they don’t happen), yet most of us could easily name at least one of our friends or family members that was involved in a drunk driving accident or two. So maybe the marijuana advocates are on to something. Bottom line is, the majority is in control of the trend.
Politically Correct: Revision 4.20
The information we’re presented with… well, it’s different. It’s changing. In the papers, and on the news. Everywhere. Well, maybe Jimmy the news anchor is toking up in the parking lot in an effort to make his teleprompter just that little bit more interesting. I mean is the media just high all the time? Are they “in on it”? Well… sure, it could be a small part. After all, the mainstream newsroom nowadays is… ok let’s not get too sidetracked here… but it’s not what it once was. Who wouldn’t wanna be high with all he crap these guys have to sell anyway? (I’m kidding of course… sort of). No, in reality, we see a very apparent shift happening in the landscape of what is actually an acceptable tone for “political correctness”. What can be passed through the news room or put into the paper must apparently be determined in light of this new culture. One might think twice before jumping on the ol’ “reefer madness’ bandwagon now, even those with conservative viewpoints. Maybe don’t piss off the majority? That’s bad for ratings.
Evidence demands reasonable conclusions be drawn. Evidence founded on research and live case studies. Research that is becoming more apparent due to recent changes in marijuana legality which has affected the feasibility and safety of conducting said research. Due to the public’s cry for research into the therapeutic and medicinal benefits of the plant, politicians are beginning to feel the pressure to turn their eyes towards evidence based science, and the scientific community has been able to begin its process of “blossoming knowledge” and pollinating it across the marijuana landscape. As a result, new advocates of the plant are springing up everywhere. In the US, Marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 drug currently, along with hard drugs such as heroine, meaning that the substance is federally classified as having a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use for treatment in the United States. If marijuana is reclassified as schedule 2 status, it would be associated with a revised definition as still having potential for abuse, but would be recognized on a federal level as having an added “accepted medical use in treatment” definition. This would open the door for states to dictate their own medicinal cannabis policy without fear of breaking any federal laws, and would allow further research to flourish. Many believe we are very close.
Death and Taxes
TAX (Yes On Marijuana). The state of Colorado brought in $76 million in Tax revenue in 2014, and that was accomplished with a sharp 45 degree northeast trend line on recreational sales tax throughout the entire year, meaning that those sales are still increasing consistently, bringing in additional taxes for the state. Based upon information contained in a national survey, it is estimated that the US marijuana market is some $14 billion, coupled with analysts’ projections of some $3 billion a year in sales tax in the US alone if marijuana was legalized on a federal level. Other states have followed suit with Colorado, and several more states are on the road to legalization in one form or another. Many more already have laws that permit the use of marijuana for medical purposes. In fact, about half of the US states now have a medical marijuana program of some kind (23 States & the District of Columbia). The tax realized by these states who decided to adopt a legal marijuana market, has become a significant driving factor for other states in considering the convenience and benefit of implementing similar such systems and the effect these tax revenues would have on state spending as a result; a driving factor that will likely only become more significant throughout all stages of the new market’s growth. It was Benjamin Franklin that once said; “…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Well, if you can bet on taxes, then you can certainly bet on marijuana.
The Big Guy Pays
Big corporations are getting involved, and these corporations “pay” for change. Although it’s too early to tell who all the players are, which ones will outlast their competition, and which ones will be stifled by ever changing policy, federal regulations, or regulatory procrastination in affirming the existence of an applicant’s right to grow, there is an ever growing corporate trend in both the private and public sectors in those regions where big money can be made… by simply having big money on tap and a strong action plan on just how to spend that money. In order to survive and flourish, these corporations (both established and emerging) will also need a strong endurance mentality, and will go a long way in lobbying the right kinds of government in their respective areas. Lobbying exists already; from patients, from advocates, from government parties, scientists, and doctors. However, this lobbying as a whole is now funded by these corporations. This funding will drive the world forward in marijuana legalization in such a way that has never before been driven.
With the amount of scrutiny now lurking over the marijuana sector, and in light of both governmental and corporate blunders, it is now more critical than ever that those who wish to embark on a journey into the next big thing as a business, be absolutely squeaky clean in all respects. Ironically, starting a legal business in the midst of one of the world’s largest illegal trades, dictates that every move these emerging corporations undertake, will need to be on the up and up. This isn’t quite the Wild West many of us thought it might be. It is an industry that is fighting for legitimacy. Out here nobody really has a gun. It’s all compliance, patience, sheriffs, and tax collectors. In light of all uncertainties, one things for sure (aside from death and taxes), this behemoth of an industry… this locomotive if you will… has only just left the station. (Feel free to leave a comment below)
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