U.S. Marijuana Legalization in 2020
With the first round of Democratic Party debates complete, we’ve seen the legions of presidential hopefuls discuss everything from gun control, to immigration, to economic policy. But one topic that has been conspicuously absent is U.S. marijuana legalization. For pot stock bulls, that’s not a great sign.
First, it’s worth noting that this is the most pro-legalization group of potential presidents that we’ve ever seen. Almost all of the major candidates have come out in support of marijuana reform to one degree or another.
As I’ve long said, U.S. marijuana legalization would be one of the biggest motivating factors for another massive green rush.
Consider how well the legal marijuana industry has done since cannabidiol (CBD) became a prominent drug in the United States. The U.S. CBD market has single-handedly helped spur growth for numerous pot stocks and it represents the next big market for companies to take advantage of.
Total recreational marijuana legalization across the country would open up the largest and most lucrative pot market in the world. And as you’d expect, pot stocks would rise as a result.
Not to mention that a number of U.S. marijuana initial public offerings (IPOs) would sprout, giving investors new opportunities to get in on the ground floor with high-growth-potential stocks.
Despite marijuana legalization not seeing any stage time in the first two Democratic presidential debates, it hasn’t been totally forgotten.
“I am absolutely disappointed that wasn’t an issue when you see voters turning out this issue all over the country,” said Sen. Cory Booker after the first debate, in which he participated. (Source: “Cory Booker said he’s ‘absolutely disappointed’ marijuana legalization wasn’t discussed in first 2020 Democratic debate,” Business Insider, June 27, 2019.)
“I would like to see the federal government end its making marijuana illegal and pull back and let the states do what they want,” Booker continued.
“But I am also one of those people that thinks you cannot talk about marijuana legalization if in the same sentence you’re not talking about expunging the records of those Americans who have criminal convictions for doing things that two of the last three presidents admitted to doing.”
This quote is important for a number of reasons. First, while Booker is not a front-runner, he’s also not a total long shot. He’s a pretty well-known name for political wonks and many casual observers, and he has a real chance to emerge as the Democratic nominee.
While you may disagree with some of his other policies, Booker would be among the staunchest supporters of marijuana if he were to become president. After all, while in Congress, he put forward the most meaningful attempt at marijuana reform the country has ever seen.
Another important aspect of Booker’s quote is the part that deals with incarceration. This is a hot-button issue among Democrats. Many are avowedly against mass incarceration and for social justice, especially in the racial context.
Dealing with the marijuana issue, then, would provide a lovely tool to hit all those marks simultaneously while garnering support from younger voters (who may be more motivated to hit the polls if marijuana legalization is on the table).
The biggest gains in the marijuana stock market will only be generated once we see pot legalized federally in the United States.
That could happen as early as 2021, but we’re going to need politicians who support pot reform to throw their weight behind it on the national stage. It’s a win-win, after all.