U.S. Medical Marijuana:Tennessee
As the United States continues to grow in its acceptance of marijuana, we often get so locked in on the topic of recreational cannabis that we forget about where the fight for marijuana legalization often starts: medicinal pot.
With that in mind, U.S. medical marijuana legalization supporters may be on their way to scoring another major victory, this time in Tennessee.
Tennessee State Senator Janice Bowling introduced a bill on February 4 that would see medical marijuana legalization across the state. (Source: “TN senator introduces bill to legalize medical marijuana,” WSMV News 4, February 4, 2019.)
Now, whether Tennessee ultimately legalizes cannabis is not going to shift pot stocks significantly one way or the other, but there are two major implications from this legislative move.
The first is that, if Tennessee legalizes medical marijuana, we’ll be getting ever closer to that critical mass of Americans we’ll need to have on board in order to see a major push for federal legalization. The inconsistent legal status of cannabis in the U.S. is quickly descending into farce.
We now have more than 100 million Americans who can legally access marijuana to one degree or another within their state, while the federal government maintains a ban on a drug that, for all the research available right now, is likely no more harmful than alcohol.
There will come a breaking point where the feds will have no choice but to take on marijuana reform as more and more people are granted legal access to the drug at the state level.
The majority of Americans have shown in multiple polls that they are ready for U.S. marijuana legalization in one form or another. Now it’s up to the politicians to make that happen.
Which brings us to the other major implication of this bill: Senator Bowling is a Republican.
Marijuana reform has long been thought of as being under the purview of the Democrats, who often take a softer approach to drugs and crime. But in this case, we have a Republican senator in a very red state pushing for legalization.
This is a big deal.
Near the end of 2018, I celebrated the fact that more and more states were introducing marijuana legislation through the usual channels of government, rather than via a direct referendum. This will not only speed up the process, but show that politicians are finally finding their courage when it comes to what is a pretty plain and obvious move.
If Republicans—the main party of opposition toward U.S. marijuana legalization—are now coming aboard, we can expect to see marijuana reform greatly accelerate in America.
If Republican politicians begin pushing through marijuana reform and abandoning their antiquated anti-marijuana posturing, then we can expect to see a seismic shift in the U.S. marijuana legalization outlook.