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We are at a tremendous juncture in the path to marijuana reform in the United States. Politicians are as entertaining as ever, but, with the determination of our 45th President, Donald Trump, actual marijuana policy reform is a wildcard.
Congress seems unwilling to change marijuana laws despite insurmountable evidence pointing to the health benefit of the cannabis plant. So what does the MPO predict for 2017?
- More States are gathering signatures for ballot questions in 2018. Michigan residents will collect enough signatures to legalize adult use cannabis this year and tax cannabis like alcohol. The campaign responsible for signature gathering is the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol https://www.regulatemi.org/. 2017 could also bring positive marijuana policy change in the following states: Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wyoming, and Washington, D.C..
- The United States Supreme Court will consider a case which challenges the medical use of marijuana. Expect actions against a well funded and long established cannabis or hemp provider. It takes millions of dollars to be heard by the #SCOTUS. The court case could finally acknowledge that marijuana has medical value and force the US Government to reschedule the drug. Like all court cases, it is a long and tiring process.
- Polling suggests that almost 90 percent of Americans now support medical marijuana, and just 60 percent support legalization. We will see new actual numbers this year indicating that 70% of Americans approve of legal weed. And, the numbers for medical acceptance of the plant will continue to blossom. In 2017, 3 out of every 4 people in America will live in a state or city that has reformed marijuana laws or policy.
- Driving While Impaired (DWI) arrests will begin to increase. As more states lax dated cannabis laws the fines for violating these new laws could triple current police revenues over the next decade. Road sobriety tests for cannabis will also gain in popularity.
- The Trump administration will take no action against individuals in states that have legalized recreational or medical cannabis. The state’s lab experiment of legalization will continue to simmer. The Trump administration will remain neutral in the ongoing war against cannabis users.