May the fifth star shine bright? Thanks to favorable local and national moods, Vermont could well be the fifth state to legalize use and production of cannabis for recreational purposes. State senators have already signed off, despite prohibitive federal laws. Now itâ€™s the Vermont House of Representativesâ€™ turn to weigh in. But Speaker of the House Shap Smith thinks itâ€™ll be more of a fight than previously predicted. Meanwhile, border states, especially New York, worry about the effects of pot proliferation.
Oregon plays banker: Both houses of the Oregon legislature have approved a bill to allow financial institutions to provide services to the cannabis industry. National prohibition still limits the extent to which this policy will affect the industry, but pundits believe it is a step in the right direction.
So far, so fast:Â Vice has just released another documentary on the Colorado cannabis trade, this time with a different spin: the plight of small-scale growers in the face of industrial operations.
With Louisiana potentially set to become the first red state to legalize cannabis, and with Puerto Ricoâ€™s governor calling for legal pot, the US cannabis market is headed for a major expansion by yearâ€™s end.
In Canada, a clear majority of citizens agree with legalizing cannabis. The issue, a key part of the Liberal governmentâ€™s campaign platform, has been a hazy policy area during the past few weeks. The nation has the chance to legalize cannabis in a responsible, comprehensive manner; but, some say, the country has a lot to learn.