As the frantic shopping pace of the High Holiday season begins to pick up steam – and Thanksgiving, 2013, is just around the corner – this seems like a perfect time to take a peek in our rearview mirror of marijuana law reform, and give thanks to the brave new world of cannabis acceptance.
I’m thankful for the fast-growing cannabis tourism in Colorado and Washington – and the much-needed revenue relief it brings: Adults from anywhere in the US – or for that matter, from around the world – can now travel to either Washington or Colorado and legally fire up state sanctioned recreational marijuana. While Colorado’s lofty elevation already attract droves of tourists looking to get high on the states scenery – as of January 1, 2014 a whole new crop of tourists will be looking to fire up state sanctioned weed.
The slow demise of ‘reefer madness’ allows for domestic hemp production – as Colorado and Washington fire up domestic hemp production, several states are following their path of common sense and hope to allow local farmers to cultivate one of nature’s most productive crops, throwing off the shackles of the federal government’s ban on industrial hemp. 80 years after the hemp plant was first band by the state of Utah, American entrepreneurs will no longer be forced to purchase hemp fiber from foreign producers – eliminating outrageous taxes and industry crushing tariffs in the process.
Marijuana lobbyists – big marijuana gains political might – differentiating themselves from other reform groups seeking to cultivate marijuana law reform and social justice, business minded entrepreneurs are retaining top lobbyists to advance a pro-pot business agenda. Doubling the number of cannabis related lobbyists around the country and in Washington DC since last November’s vote.
The “laboratories of democracy” stands up and defends cannabis commerce – As voters cast their ballots in favor of marijuana legalization, state governments are forced to guard against the heavy-handed tactics of federal intervention, and are forced to protect their new economic base as “laboratories of democracy” (thanks, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis for coining the phrase) under our system of federalism.
Putting the ill-conceived drug war under a national spotlight – As Colorado and Washington slowly dismantle eight decades of doomed cannabis prohibition – for the slightly more enlightened position of ‘tax and regulate.’ Marijuana reform supporters, constituents, politicians and even the mainstream media in other cash-strapped states are scratching their heads… asking the collective question: “why can’t we legalize cannabis too?”
Indeed – why not?