Marijuana Legislation Passed in Nine States
Another legacy left by the Obama Administration is that marijuana, often seen as a gateway drug, is legal in more states than ever. Specifically, nine states passed ballot initiatives legalizing some form of marijuana use.
Florida was the first state to legalize the use of medical marijuana by people with specified debilitating diseases and conditions. North Dakota and Arkansas passed similar initiatives also allowing medical marijuana.
While, Nevada, California, Massachusetts and Maine all passed measures legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for over 21-year-olds.
There are several other states with less restrictions regarding this drug. In Montana, medical marijuana has been legal since 2004 but a ballot was passed Tuesday that will allowed cannabis dispensaries in the state to have more than three patients.
Arizona was the only state to reject the legalization of recreational use of the drug.
With all of these passed, as many as 80 million Americans could be living in states with more relaxed marijuana laws, according to ballotpedia.org.
Although Obama has never officially endorsed marijuana legalization, his administration was instrumental in this movement.
“Obama has been politically artful in allowing legalization to proceed in pioneering states such as Washington and Colorado,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon to The Seattle Times. “He’s charted a course for other states to follow, without inciting a political backlash.”
“Obama’s great accomplishment, some say, was getting out of the way after voters in Colorado and Washington approved state-regulated pot production and sale in 2012,” writes The Seattle Times.
Soon-to-be President Trump has previously said, “I really believe you should leave it to the states. I think it should be a state issue.”
Although he seems to support medical usage and has said “I know people that have serious problems and they did that they really — it really does help them.” He also has pointed out that Colorado’s legal marijuana industry is a real problem.
“President-elect Trump has promised to be a law-and-order president,” said Kevin Sabet, the co-founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, one of the largest anti-legalization groups to Business Insider. “I’m feeling much better than I thought I might.”
Trump’s running mate and appointed Vice President, Mike Pence has been a strong anti-marijuana legalization advocate for both medical and recreational usages.
Will the next administration challenge the cannabis movement and halt it from spreading to more states? We ca only hope that Trump can undo some of this, along with the long list of other Obama disasters.
Editor’s note: If someone could guarantee that noone under the age of 21 would smoke it, then I would say fine do what you like. But the fact is most people who do addictive drugs started in there early teens, entering adulthood as an addict, never having made the adult decision to damage their lives like this.