On 4/20, U.S. Marijuana Legalization Became an Inevitability

U.S. marijuana legalization
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Chuck Schumer Marijuana Policy Is Huge

The holy grail of the international marijuana market is the United States. With literally millions of people eager to partake in legal marijuana, a loosening of federal regulation around cannabis would be a huge boon to pot stocks and send share prices soaring.

That’s why Senator Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) proposed marijuana legislation  to remove the drug from the Controlled Substances Act is such a massive development for the marijuana industry.

There’s a lot to unpack here, but all of it is good news for pot stocks.

First, Schumer is not the first senator to introduce legislation to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act. But what makes his move remarkable is that he is the senate minority leader.

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The Democratic party is essentially led by Schumer at the moment, at least in the Senate, which makes him the most influential politician yet to come out in support of marijuana legalization in the U.S.

“If smoking marijuana doesn’t hurt anybody else, why shouldn’t we allow people to do it and not make it criminal?” said Schumer in a recent interview. He went on to autograph a bong in that interview, just in case there was any confusion. (“On 4/20, Chuck Schumer To Introduce Bill To Decriminalize Marijuana,” NPR, April 20, 2018.)

While being the party leader in the U.S. Senate doesn’t guarantee that all senate Democrats will fall in line behind Schumer’s position, it does mean there will be immense pressure for senators to support their leader.

Not to mention, Schumer didn’t attain his position without being able to wheel and deal. Should he choose to do so, Schumer has the ability to exert a good amount of pressure to bring his party in line on marijuana.

That won’t be enough to pass any bills, mind you, considering that Republicans still control the House and Senate.

But, with a mid-term election coming up, we could see Democrats regain control of Congress just in time to push through this marijuana bill.

Again, this is all a best-case scenario, but it is a highly possible one. It’s certainly more plausible than any other U.S. marijuana legalization plan.

U.S. Marijuana Legalization Becomes Inevitable

The long and short of it is that U.S. marijuana legalization is now inevitable.

While we all knew that eventually the U.S. would move toword legalization (after all, polls show now that the majority of Americans support decriminalized weed), this is truly the final nail in the coffin of eternal cannabis prohibition.

Schumer is an agenda setter for the Democrats and is likely to serve for years as its head in the Senate. With such a powerful supporter of legalization, it’s unlikely that marijuana prohibition on the federal level will be sustained in the long term.

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

April has been a strong month for pot stocks, largely due to political developments supporting the industry. From a pragmatic angle, there’s just not much political sense in opposing the move to decriminalize marijuana.

For those who would want to oppose the move toward legalization, there’s vanishingly little support left.

Consider that, just recently, there were two huge developments in the fight for U.S. marijuana legalization.

The first came from the president himself, when it was announced that Donald Trump supports states’ rights to regulate marijuana as they see fit.

“Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states’ rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana,” said Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO). (Source: “Gardner Protects Colorado’s Legal Marijuana Industry,” Cory Gardner United States Senator for Colorado, April 13, 2018.)

“…I received a commitment from the President that the Department of Justice’s rescission of the Cole memo will not impact Colorado’s legal marijuana industry. Furthermore, President Trump has assured me that he will support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix this states’ rights issue once and for all,” added Gardner.

This support from Trump came after a year of market fears that he—and especially his attorney general, Jeff Sessions—would use federal powers to prosecute marijuana across the country, even in states that had long ago legalized its use.

But with Trump coming out in support of marijuana legalization, those fears can be laid to rest now.

Furthermore, it means that the Republican party will likely either fall in line behind Trump on marijuana or, at the very least, prefer not to challenge the president on this issue.

Another huge development came by way of John Boehner, former speaker of the house. Boehner, in his retirement, has pulled an about-face when it comes to marijuana, signing on to the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, a marijuana investment company with a portfolio that includes cultivation, processing, and dispensing of cannabis across 11 states—with eyes toward expansion. (Source: “GOP Lawmakers Hope To Help Cannabis Company With Their Advocacy,” Forbes, April 14, 2018.)

As speaker, Boehner was very much in the traditional Republican mold of being anti-pot, using that tired old claim that it is a “gateway drug.”

Despite having left politics, Boehner is still a very respected figure among Republicans and he exerts influence over his former colleagues.

As the Republican Party continues to catch up to the times on this issue, it appears that U.S. marijuana legalization is all but a certainty. The only question is when the legislation will be passed.

Analyst Take

It has been a long time coming, but political support for pot stocks seems to have finally reached a tipping point in the United States.

Between the highest Senate Democrat supporting marijuana legalization, the president lending support to state legalization, and a former Republican Speaker of the House putting his weight behind cannabis, there has never been a better time in the U.S. for marijuana.

Pot stocks across the board would hugely benefit from U.S. marijuana legalization, and that eventuality appears closer than it has ever been.