The Vermont House of Representatives committee that is considering the cannabis legalization bill approved by the state senate weeks ago will likely not vote on the issue before early April. Issues that legislators have expressed concerns over include teen use and highway safety. These concerns are becoming a common refrain throughout the nation as more and more states consider legalization. As mentioned in a previous post, the White House drug czar, Michael Botticelli recently painted a troubling picture of legal cannabis, highlighting the dangers to children.
That said, cannabis legalization is a popular concept. Opinion polls and an analysis of previous cannabis proposals in Massachusetts seem to suggest that an overwhelming majority of state citizens do or will support the current initiative, despite the warnings of the governor and legislators sent to investigate the Colorado pot industry. All their trepidation may have a hard time flying in the face of what could be a $1.1 billion industry by the next election cycle.
Polls in Michigan, meanwhile, show a 53% support for legalization in that state. Pro-legalization activists think this is an underestimate, pointing to the earlier medical marijuana initiative that passed by a margin that was ten points large than polls indicated.
In California, the legal cannabis industry industry has a new investor: publishing mogul Larry Flynt. His $100,000 investment in the cannabis service provider Pineapple Express was undoubtedly welcome for the startup, but his political muscle may be even more important to the legalization movement as a whole. With more and more support rallying to the AUMA, the RAND Corporationâ€™s Beau Kilmer explains what exactly would change in the state if it passes.
With buzzwords like â€œorganicâ€ and â€œlocally grown,â€ why shouldnâ€™t cannabis be easy to market?Â The answer has to do with long-standing and ingrained image problems. Popular political opinion can change, but will advertisers be able to brand pot?
And finally, the Supreme Court declared that quashing aÂ cannabis industry in one state because it causes law breaking in other states was well beyond its jurisdiction. But even pot advocates realize that the issue is far from settled.