Marijuana, the Plant to Unite Us
This November ended up being one of the most contentious midterm elections that the United States has seen, with record breaking campaign expenditures in several states. North Carolina proved to be the most expensive battle, where $100,000,000 was spent on campaigning for the legislative seats. Marijuana was also on the ballot in many places, and fared better than both parties on Election Day, with some Washington D.C.’s recreational law passed with nearly 70% of the vote.
It seems that political lines are becoming less and less associated with our beliefs about marijuana. Even many southern conservative states are adopting some form of medical marijuana and are looking to legalize other forms as well. Conservatives are starting to hear the endless stream of good news about marijuana’s health benefits and seeing the tax revenue shore up the budgets of other states, likely with green envious eyes. They will probably all be growing and smoking Green House Seed Co. strains once they change the law.
Bipartisanship is Like Fertilizer
With the country as divisive as it is, we need as many bipartisan issues as possible. Votes where both parties agree, or are willing to make compromise help prove that the legal system works and build relationships between individuals on either side of the aisle. These relationships might lead to more bi-partisan work, meaning cannabis might be the herbal remedy that congress needs to help get its head out of its ass. This issue is a no brainer, which should be supported by most congressmen, since most people support marijuana. Congress continuing to act otherwise would be a further sign of their detachment.
With a new republican class entering congress, many are fearful that the gridlock that has stricken our capital for so long will only become more deeply entrenched. However, many of the new republicans are progressive, and hold socially liberal views and they might greatly benefit image wise by at least decriminalizing the substance. This would free up money in all state budgets while opening the door for a legitimate discussion about nationwide medical use and or full blown legalization.
While some still disagree about the health risks and benefits, very few would disagree that possession of marijuana is punished unevenly and too severely. Billions of dollars of productivity are lost by sending people to jail over marijuana, similar to the way that cigarettes rob our economy of productivity. Things are going to change very quickly over the next two years as the build up towards our next presidential election becomes ever more dramatic and marijuana focused.