Even a decade before, supporters of weed legalization carried the stereotype of leftist hippies. It was assumed that these people wanted legal pot so that they could smoke it with abandon. Such an idea was soon discarded when people discovered that serious legal money could be made from it. About 29 states in the United States have a kind of recreational or medical weed legalized. Cannabis industry worldwide is now valued at approximately $7.7 billion. It is anticipated to rise to about $30 billion within 2021. No wonder both Republicans and Democrats now support cannabis legalization. As per data, weed legalization will garner federal tax revenues of $104.5 billion. One million new jobs will also be created by 2021.
The perception of ordinary Americans on weed being legalized has changed. As per a Gallup poll, about 64 percent of Americans support marijuana to be legalized all over the United States. About 45 percent have tried marijuana. Medical use of pot is favored by a whopping 70 percent of those polled. Approximately 50 percent of people said that marijuana is not a problem.
Acreage Holdings, one of the biggest cannabis holding companies operating in the United States, announced that John Boehner, the House of Representatives' former speaker, will join the company's advisory board. It is to be kept in mind that Boehner, a few years before, emphatically said he was totally opposed to any kind of legalization of marijuana. The Republican announced through social media that he is convinced of de-scheduling the drug. He wants it done so that research can be conducted. He also wants the opioid epidemic destroying communities to stop.
Mitch McConnell, a hardline GOP elected from Kentucky and Senate Majority Leader, announced his intention to legalize hemp. The latter is a non-psychoactive cannabis plants byproduct. Although hemp cannot make a person high like marijuana, it is a correct step in the direction of legalizing weed. Hemp is a fiber used in manufacturing.
Even those who are opposed to marijuana legalization do the same with ambivalence. As per a Brookings Institution study, even conservatives who support that marijuana should remain illegal support the rights of states to provide the plant legal status. Keegan Peterson, the CEO of a workforce management company, holds the opinion that marijuana is a bipartisan issue. He said that it is a kind of small business supporting another small business.