According to a study, 2 out of 3 Americans support the legalization of Cannabis as the sales in the marijuana industry triple over the past four years. The industry is growing exponentially, and it is estimated that by 2024 the global sales are likely to hit above $40 billion. It is quite interesting that these massive figures do not actually include revenues from cannabinoid related products. The huge number of sales of Marijuana has been attributed to the increased number of states that have legalized the use of Medical Marijuana. Besides, the United States offers the largest market for Marijuana in the world with various projections indicating that the U.S will account for more than a third of the sales. Amid the soaring number of sales is an obstinate and incessant change in the public’s opinion on Marijuana.
Marijuana legalization support at a record high
Americans support legalizing Marijuana federally overwhelmingly, according to each survey done in the past year. A research done by National pollster Gallup concluded that 66% of Americans supported the idea of legalizing Marijuana. Despite the huge statistics on Marijuana approval support, it still remains outrageously illegal, just like heroin. Ironically, cocaine is not as highly outlawed as Marijuana, despite its many medical benefits.
A growing number of Americans support the legalization. Therefore, it means that Cannabis should have been legalized through their leaders since most Americans favor its legalization, and the leaders represent the will of their people.
However, that has not happened, and we look into five aspects that has hindered the legalization process.
1. It’s all about money
Marijuana-based businesses are barred from imposing a tax on any corporate operating deductions. They can only levy a tax on the cost of goods sold. A profitable marijuana business means we could have a tax rate that shoots up to 70% to 90% high. Therefore, the government gains so much by way of taxing the profitable cannabis businesses at an exorbitant rate.
Legalizing Cannabis would mean that businesses will be able to take corporate deductions that are available to “normal” companies. By doing this themselves, it would mean a loss of close to $5 billion by the government. Therefore, one of the underlying impediments to the legalization of Cannabis has got everything to do with money.
2. It’s prejudiced in a way
Quite a good number of legislators from all political divisions were in support of legalizing Marijuana, according to research by Gallup. While the number of Democrats and Independents in support of its legalization across the country stood at 75% and 71% respectively. However, only 53% of Republicans in the house supported its legalization, which is a huge problem since the Senate and the Oval office are under their control.
There is a sharp division between the Democrats and Republicans on what the future holds and the repercussions that will come with the legalization of Marijuana. Therefore, it is a partisan issue that will drag on for a while.
3. Could be bureaucratic
All bills that find their way to the Senate floor have to get a nod from the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. The Republicans have been opposed to the move to legalize Cannabis for a long time now. McConnell comes from the Republican Party and has time and again shot down any bill related to the marijuana business. He has ensured such a bill does not show any part related to pot business. Besides, he has also ensured that such a bill does not appear on the flow of the Senate. Marijuana reform bills will always face hurdles as long as McConnell remains Senate Majority Leader.
4. It’s not a weighty matter
The office on the hill is not quite interested in the marijuana debate. Despite the marijuana industry being able to create more employment, the statehouse has not seen it as a very important issue to warrant their support. Legislators are mainly preoccupied with drafting trade deals, coming up with budgets and ensuring there is better healthcare to the public. While Cannabis is undeniably popular among the public, it is not just a priority for the lawmakers.
Recent studies from Quinnipiac University also revealed that Marijuana is not a dividing issue at the moment. According to the study, only one out of eight Americans would be influenced to vote against or for cannabis legalization by the leaders if their opinion on the topic was different. This means that lawmakers can maintain an unpopular stand on cannabis legalization without the fear of risking their political career.
5. Reservations about its effects
According to a study done by the Center for Disease Control, a total of 805 cases of lung illness were reported, 12 of which were death cases. Most of the patients with lungs illnesses confirmed they used the THC-based substance. Tetrahydrocannabinol is the cannabinoid in Marijuana that gets users high. Consequently, the Oval House has cast its doubts on the safety of Marijuana, and it will take time to convince them otherwise.
The federal government has continued to classify Marijuana as an illegal drug, thus making it a complex issue for the Canadian pot stocks. It also means that the transportation of Marijuana among different states is prohibited. The Canadian stocks, Canopy Growth and HEXO are both listed on the New York Stock Exchange. This means that with the ban on Marijuana, none of these companies can trade in the U.S as they risk being delisted from the Stock Exchange Market. The only available option right now is to sell CBD products which have medical benefits. Meanwhile, it will take some time now before Marijuana finally finds its way into the Canadian market.