The world of legal cannabis got a little larger Tuesday night with the passing of recreational legalization in Michigan and medical legalization in both Missouri and Utah. According to information coming out post-midterm elections, these three states are the newest additions to the legal cannabis family, loosening the grip that prohibition has on the United States as a whole. They join 31 other states that sport medicinal cannabis and 9 others that are fully recreational. North Dakota, however, was not quite able to get its recreational measure passed, keeping it from joining the ranks.
This newfound support for legalization is bound to have a beneficial effect on the momentum of change in Congress. So many states are switching up their stances on cannabis, which bodes well for the future of the industry. But the outcome of this midterm is relevant to more than just fixing the unfair federal prohibition on cannabis. It could also help make the push in already legal states to get federal regulations lifted, allowing for easier access to funding and banking. One of the biggest concerns in legal states has been where to get funding for large legal cannabis related projects and how to go about storing income from these projects. For a long time, federal bureaucracy has hamstrung the legal cannabis industry. But this push for legalization in more states could be the piece of the puzzle that could tip the scales in favor of cannabis.
Missouri Votes 'Yes' On Cannabis
Though Michigan got the big win with recreation cannabis passing, those states that passed for medicinal use should still garner attention. Medicinal is just as important as recreation in the grand scheme of things. This notion is not lost to the citizens of Missouri, with a record number of voters making their way to the polls to push through Amendment 2. Roughly 65% of voters approved the ballot measure for Amendment 2, allowing Missouri to become the 32nd state to fully legalize medicinal cannabis use. It might not be recreational yet, but this is a step in the right direction or the state of Missouri.
"It was an historic day for Missouri patients and veterans," said Jack Cardetti of New Approach Missouri, one of the major proponents for Amendment 2. Now patients that suffer from a wide range of medical issues can have access to cannabis and all the benefits that come along with using the plant medicinally. Additionally, as more people get out and vote on legal cannabis, the attitude will slowly trickle up to representatives in Washington, leading to changes on a larger scale down the road.
Though there is a great push from many states to legalize cannabis, the momentum is not coming from politicians. Legalization is jumping off by ballot initiatives; meaning politicians are not the driving force. Politicians are still hesitant to jump on board, despite strong public support. Maybe the public is putting too much faith in support from politicians; voters need to keep banding together to drive forward legalization. Representatives will have to eventually join the ranks as long as we keep pushing as a community. Michigan, Missouri, and Utah mark another step toward widespread legalization, but the war is far from over.