The Enduring American Marijuana Culture

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For some, marijuana is a way to relieve pain or to relax; to others, it’s an addictive and dangerous drug. Whatever thoughts you hold on marijuana, it cannot be denied that its impact on American history and culture has been tremendous. Against all odds, over 75-years after the passing of the US Marihuana Tax Act, and marijuana arrests that run into the millions during the drug wars carried out by former American administrations under Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Senior, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and even Barack Obama, somehow, weed seems to be winning the war.

Today, from celebrities to the ordinary citizen, the marijuana culture appears to have permeated every aspect of the American society. Even notable mega moguls like the late Steve Jobs, Ted Turner, and Mike Bloomberg have all enthusiastically tried the stuff. Over a 3rd of the people in the U.S. have admitted that they have tried marijuana while in a 3rd of the states, marijuana is legal for medical purposes.

 

Cannabis Policy Advocacy Lobbying Firms Hired

Such is the interest on legalization among the US public and other interest groups that according to a report from O’Dwyer’s, a nonprofit based in Denver, the New Federalism Fund(NFF) that is dedicated to rights issues has engaged the services of a consulting firm Trimpa Group with the goal of lobbying Congress on diverse cannabis-related issues. This includes taxes, banking, appropriations, and other law enforcement issues.

Earlier in 2017, the New Federalism Fund also acquired the services of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, another lobbying firm for purposes of cannabis-related advocacy on Capitol Hill. The spending on lobbyists by NFF comes as Congress is preparing to discuss the fate of the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment in the 2018 Fiscal Year Appropriations Bill.

The Rohrabacher-Farr amendment aims to bar the US Department of Justice from utilizing federal funds to pursue or frustrate medical cannabis operations that are state-approved.

 

What is the Industry’s Future?

The first state to legalize adult-use sale of cannabis, Colorado, is expected to hit $1.94 billion in recreational and medical sales by the year 2025, fourth behind the States of California, Florida, and Washington State. By the year 2025, experts estimate that over two-dozen states will have fully operational medical marijuana programs while 9 will have recreational marijuana markets fully operational. California is expected to account for over 25% of the national marijuana sales.

 

Bottom-line

Although the concept of legal marijuana would have appeared like pure fantasy only 10 years ago, today, legalization across most of the United States is just a matter of time. The older generation of American citizens who maintained a conservative stance towards the plant is slowly being replaced by a more energetic and adventurous generation.

Since the Jimmy Carter administration, US politicians who had maintained a low profile on the subject of legalization have finally begun to flex their political muscle. Already many states in the US have legalized the use of marijuana either for medicinal or recreational use, with more in the process of reviewing current legislations.