AND SO A few more dominoes fall. Michigan voted to legalize the recreational use of cannabis, while Utah and Missourilegalized it for medical use, according to projections made late Tuesday night. (A recreational measure in North Dakota failed, though medical cannabis remains legal there.) They join 31 other states that have already gone the medical route and nine others that have gone fully recreational.
That’s a win for the citizens of these states—cannabis is far and away safer than alcohol and comes with a range of proven medical benefits, and still more that researchers are exploring. But it also may be a win for cannabis nationwide: The more states that legalize cannabis, the likelier it is that federal prohibition will topple soon.
“Momentum is gaining for change in Congress to allow states to determine their own marijuana policies,” says Morgan Fox, media relations director at the National Cannabis Industry Association. “Two-thirds of the country wants marijuana to be legal, and politicians are ignoring that at their peril.”
This midterm election’s outcome is relevant to more than just the end game of dissolving the federal prohibition of cannabis. The momentum could also help the states that have already voted to legalize the drug but remain hamstrung by federal regulation. Over the summer, for instance, the Senate Appropriations Committee torpedoed an amendment that would have allowed banks to work with cannabis companies. This, of course, is a major headache for the industry: If a cultivator or distributor or dispensary can’t find a bank to work with, it’s kinda hard to do business. See more...