Marijuana legislation has remained quite a sensitive issue for some time now as proponents and opponents fight from the government standpoint. Many reports have come out showing the massive amount of support from the industry and the public, which has helped to change the perception of cannabis around the world. A new bill has been sponsored by the senator of Oregon Jeff Merkley known as the Marijuana Justice Act, which would effectively make marijuana decriminalized from the federal level.
The bill pushed forth by Senator Cory Booker has seen a large amount of support from the public and looks as though it could potentially be pushed through in the coming years. Merkley has been one of the most prolific proponents of the cannabis industry and his move to support this bill only furthers the support he has pledged.
Merkley stated recently that “More than half of the United States has enacted legislation allowing for either medical or adult-use of cannabis, yet federal law remains in conflict,” said Senator Merkley. “This creates significant problems, not only with the prosecution of nonviolent cannabis crimes — which disproportionately hurts people of color — but also with lack of banking services for legally operating businesses. As long as financial institutions aren’t able to service cannabis enterprises, these businesses are forced to operate in an all-cash environment that’s unsafe and lacks accountability. This bill would place cannabis legalization in the hands of states — exactly where it should be.” It is extremely clear that this is the opinion of the public, and the lacking support from some of the federal government is in clear opposition with the popular opinion of the people in the U.S.
Senator Booker stated a similar sentiment earlier in the week by stating that “I’m thrilled that Senator Merkley is joining our effort to make our criminal justice system more consistent with the words inscribed above our Supreme Court – equal justice under the law. The War on Drugs has been a war on people – and most often people of color and low-income individuals,” said Senator Booker. He continued to state that “I have seen firsthand the ways these policies have harmed neighborhoods, and I know that far too many innocent people in low-income communities and communities of color are having their futures destroyed by the disproportionate enforcement of these laws. It’s time for us to abandon the destructive federal prohibition of marijuana and focus our energy on righting the wrongs of the War on Drugs and prioritizing public safety and human potential.”
The amount of conflict surrounding the cannabis industry has no business changing the fate of the industry. When weighing the pros and cons, it is clear that the marijuana industry could have a large benefit on the whole of the country in terms of the happiness of the people as well as the potential tax benefits for the national government. Merkley is the fifth Senator in the government to cosponsor the bill, which means that there is a growing amount of support throughout the federal level.
The cannabis industry is very new and continues to change the culture and preconceptions of the country. With a growing amount of legislative support throughout the government, there remains a large amount of potential for the industry to continue growing in size and power. The hopes are high that the next coming years will be instrumental for the industry to reach its full potential. Only time will tell how this changing sentiment will physically and idealistically change the whole of the market for the foreseeable future.
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