Huffing and Puffing; Will the House Blow it Down (Eventually)?
With all of the recent euphoria surrounding legalization efforts, there has been a couple of sobering potential situations put forward recently. One comes from the Huffington Post, which quotes Harvard economist, Jeff Miron, who believes that all of the good work done in legalization could suffer serious setbacks with the next administration change.
As of now, the feds have chosen to heel their legal attack dogs with regard to those states where marijuana is legal. But will that remain the case?
Those inside the halls of congress, like Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), don’t deny that Miron’s potential outcome could become a reality, while activists, like Ethan Nadelman of the Drug Policy Alliance, believe that it is becoming less feasible as more ground is gained.
The more conspiratorial amongst us may view this as one of the reasons that some key Republican’s have been bearish in the media on stymying D.C.’s legalization efforts, even saying they won’t stand in the way of it passing through Congress.
Only taking marijuana off the Schedule I and/or a 180 on the federal government’s marijuana current stance on prohibition will guarantee that marijuana escapes government attention.
Despite the evidentiary hearing in California recently regarding marijuana’s reclassification, however, rescheduling will continue to be a battle—and one that doesn’t appear will be over in the near future.
Another report, this coming from the Los Angeles Times, is that marijuana capitalists are happy to take from the pot-infused cookie jar, but not so willing to put back into it.
The old backers whose main aim was to address the social inequalities and injustices that plagued marijuana reform are now looking at those profiting from the loosening of recreational and medical marijuana restrictions to keep the good fight going.
According to the article however, it is these new donors who are looking away—and it is troublesome to advocate groups.
Running a pro-reform campaign takes more than peanuts and goodwill, and there seems to be a reluctance from the emerging “new pot capitalists” to aid in the funding efforts. Ethan Nadelman has described the attitude being adopted by the marijuana industry as “shortsighted” and “narrow-minded”, and ArcView Group’s Troy Dayton has admitted that it is “back to the drawing board figuring out how to inspire this crowd.”
Georgia Could Get Peachy
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Hot on the heels of successes enjoyed by Oregon, Alaska and Washington D.C., Georgia of all places has marijuana legalization in the legislative crosshairs—for the right reasons.
According to the Washington Post, one of Georgia’s Democratic lawmakers, Senator Curt Thompson, has introduced—not one—but two pieces of legislation for the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana.
SB 6 and SB 7 would allow for 21-year-olds to purchase “small amounts” of marijuana and authorize marijuana for medical use respectively. If they pass through the January 12 state legislature, the measures will be on the ballot for Georgia voters.
New England, New Approach
ABC news also recently ran an article (courtesy of AP) on the state of intended marijuana policy reforms in the Northeast. Maine and its “ citizen-led public ballot initiative” makes it an easy choice for advocates to target as the first state to legalize in New England, but Massachusetts could have a referendum in 2016 and Rhode Island and Vermont could have it in front of their respective state legislatures next year.
New Mexico, New Outlook
Another state keen on pushing the envelope in the wake of recent successes, is New Mexico according to Toke of the Town. Although still just in the “seriously discussing pot legalization” stage, Democratic State Rep., Bill McCamley, hopes to have something drafted for consideration in the next state legislative session.
More than just “because everyone else is doing it,” he is focusing on the resources being drained as well as tax revenue lost as a result of the state’s continuing war on marijuana. It certainly won’t hurt to point to a neighbor and how well they are doing as a result of legalization.
Preparing for the Holidaze
With the legalization of pot, the marketing and entrepreneurial spirit is in full swing. And with one of the biggest consumer holidays of the year, recreational marijuana purveyors in states where it is legal are out to capitalize, as this U.S. News story reports.
From deep discounts to top shelf stock reserved for seasonal release and pretty much every other marketing angle in between, this holiday season will be merry one indeed for those that deck the halls with more than mistletoe.