Federal regulators begin to feel the pressure from the public
31 states (including the District of Columbia, DC) across the US have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. Of these, nine have approved recreational use. Washington, DC, in the backyard of federal lawmakers, has also given the green light for recreational marijuana and this is helping to put pressure on Capitol Hill to move quickly on federal marijuana guidelines.
It won’t be an easy task – federal lawmakers are notorious for dragging their feet in introducing new policies. There are still a number of opponents in the nation’s capitol that don’t see eye to with their constituents, including Kentucky legislator Jason Nemes. He understands that there is growing support across the nation for marijuana, but says, “We’re not interested in allowing people to go and smoke marijuana just for the heck of it.”
Given the recent forecasts that the marijuana industry could quickly become worth over $10 billion annually, states are reacting quickly and looking to grab their share. This is helping to mold policy by federal legislators, who have already seen 863 bills related to cannabis this year.
The struggle isn’t over yet, but it is eroding more quickly each day. According to Marijuana Moment publisher Tom Angell, “[It] will be increasingly hard for opponents to push back on the green wave. With the billions of tax dollars that could be collected by state and local governments, and the increase in employment opportunities, it’s no surprise that “so many ambitious politicians are jumping in front of this issue.”