The U.S. midterm elections are over. Finally.
Well… sort of.
Georgia’s governor seat is still up for grabs. We still don’t know who will represent the great state of Florida in the Senate – or as governor. And that mysterious ballot box situation? It’s still confusing.
Yet what we do know is that Republicans have even more control of the Senate, Dems took control of the House and President Trump is going to need to place yet another “help wanted” ad in the local paper.
One thing is for sure. This election was almost as nail-biting as the last one — and the fun isn’t over yet.
There were a lot of wins this year. No matter how your Senate and House fantasy draft team made out, there’s something everyone can celebrate: cannabis is a little closer to being legal in all 50 states.
Attorney Sessions Jeff Sessions Steps Down
One of the most dramatic results of the midterm election was Jeff Sessions drafting his resignation letter.
Sessions has been one of Washington’s biggest cannabis critics. And he’s not shy about it either. He famously stated at a Senate drug hearing, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
He then went on to say, “I think one of [Obama’s] great failures, it’s obvious to me, is his lax treatment in comments on marijuana. It reverses 20 years almost of hostility to drugs that began really when Nancy Reagan started ‘Just Say No.’”
Because “Just Say No” was such a raging success.
Marijuana Stocks Soar
Not long after Sessions’ Dear John letter went public, marijuana stocks jumped. Which means at least investors believe that the change will positively affect the legalization of cannabis.
This isn’t the first time that Sessions’ actions have had a positive effect on the industry. In May 2018, USA Today reported that the attorney general’s rescinding of the Cole memo, an Obama-era policy that gave more freedoms to states that decriminalized marijuana, actually helped the legalization of the drug.
After rescinding the memo, lawmakers that once took a neutral stance on the decriminalization of marijuana were suddenly ready to move forward on taking the steps to do so.
And after Sessions stepped down as Attorney General? Tilray, a Canadian-based marijuana stock rose 30 percent.
What Sessions’ Resignation Means for the Legalization of Marijuana
“Not much,” says Forbes contributor Jeff Waldrep in a recent article.
Yet he goes on to say that he believes the results of the midterm election as a whole prove that many voters are sympathetic to the idea of the legalization marijuana.
Many cannabis companies also believe that Sessions’ stepping down was at least one nudge in the right direction for the industry.
MassRoots CEO Isaac Dietrich told Entrepreneur magazine:
“We believe it’s increasingly likely Congress could take action to regulate and tax cannabis at the federal level. We expect the perceived risks related to the cannabis industry to continue to dissipate, which could lead to a shift of institutional capital and interest from Canadian licensed producers to companies focused on the regulated United States market.”
Dallas District Attorney John Creuzot Won’t Prosecute Marijuana-Related Charges
In other postelection cannabis-related news, there’s a new district attorney in Dallas, and he says he won’t prosecute marijuana-related charges under 4 ounces — just another way voters voiced their opinions at the polls in regards to cannabis.
He told KERA News:
“As a practical matter, I mean we’re basically there already,” he said. “For example, I had a client recently who had to buy 12 cans of food to give to the North Texas Food Bank and his case was dismissed. I mean why are we even wasting time doing that?”
The U.S. has a long history of prosecuting marijuana cases with an iron fist. According to the American Civil Liberties Union:
- “52 percent of all drug arrests in 2010 were for marijuana”
- “Most of the people police are arresting aren’t kingpins, but rather people with small amounts of pot”
- “Nationwide, the arrest data revealed one consistent trend: significant racial bias. Blacks are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana”
Not only has the demonization of marijuana contributed to the 2.3 million people currently incarcerated in the U.S. — but it’s simply bad business and a waste of money.
And hey, we’re not above wasting money. We’d just rather throw our bills at something a little more worthy — like cheeseburgers.
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