There’s been plenty of speculation attempting to predict when the successful state-level marijuana legalization movement will translate into federal action. But in general, all this prognostication has been pretty unscientific… until now.
When will marijuana finally be fully legalized nationwide?
Researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and the Santa Fe Institute recently compiled a data set based on the trajectories of 170 other policies that started at the state level and eventually became federal law—and then used predictive models to extrapolate that data to the cannabis question.
There were a few different ways the team thought they might be able to predict the outcomes of various policies—including adult-use marijuana legalization and “stand your ground” laws—but the one that showed the most promise was a “simple diffusion model, based on classic logistic growth.”
That form of analysis takes into consideration the “cumulative number of state-level adoptions of a policy,” which the researchers found to be “reasonably predictive of when a policy becomes national.”
The methodology behind the analysis is a bit tricky. You can read all about it the paper publish this week, but for simplicity’s sake, here’s what the team predicted when it comes to cannabis reform:
If you’re looking at the timing of state-level marijuana laws based on the first five states to legalize for adult-use, then the logistic growth analysis indicates that full cannabis legalization will most likely be made federal law in 2021.
Based on the timing of the first nine states to fully legalize, however, the analysis gets pushed back a bit, forecasting federal legalization in 2023.
Both models showed a strong likelihood of federal marijuana legalization “by the end of 2022,” though. The probability that it would happen after 2028 is lower than 30 percent.
In other words, the idea that cannabis won’t be legalized within the next 10 years is pretty far-fetched, based on the analysis.
See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:
When Will Marijuana Finally Be Legalized Nationwide? Researchers Have A Forecast
The governors of 12 states are calling on congressional leaders to enact far-reaching marijuana legislation that would let states enact legalization without federal interference.
“Our states have acted with deliberation and care to implement programs through thoughtful and comprehensive legislation and regulations,” the bipartisan collection of governors wrote. “Our citizens have spoken, we are responding. We ask that Congress recognize and respect our states’ efforts by supporting and passing the STATES Act.”
That legislation, the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Entrusting States (STATES) Act, would amend the federal Controlled Substances Act to exempt state-legal marijuana activity from its provisions. It would also protect banks that work with legal cannabis businesses and legalize industrial hemp.
It was introduced on Thursday in the House and Senate.
Signing the new letter to congressional leaders are the governors of Alaska, California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey,New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington State. Six are Republicans and six are Democrats.
“As of today, 46 states permit the use of some form of medical marijuana and 8 states have made it legal for adult-use. These programs reflect the will of the people as expressed through ballot initiatives and legislative action,” the governors wrote to House and Senate Republican and Democratic leaders.
President Trump offered his support for the legislation on Friday.
“I really do,” he said when a reporter asked whether he backs the bill.
See video of Trump’s comments here:
Trump Says He “Really” Supports Senate Marijuana Legislation
The governors said that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s rescission earlier this year of Obama-era guidance protecting state marijuana laws “has complicated the marketplace for businesses that states now deem legal.”
“This return to one-size-fits-all federal prohibition is incongruent with reality, undermines the 46 carefully-crafted regulatory structures and impedes states’ ability to be effective laboratories of democracy.”
Legalization advocates say it makes sense that the governors would ask Congress to pass the new bill.
“The STATES Act is the most significant piece of marijuana-related legislation ever introduced in Congress,” Don Murphy, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Marijuana Moment in an interview. “These governors understand the difficulty of implementing medical and non-medical programs with the heavy boot of the federal government on their necks.”
See the governors’ letter below:
[scribd id=381362582 key=key-rw99syG02bBIEyIEjegy mode=scroll]
See the original article published on Marijuana Moment:
Bipartisan Governors Call For Federal Marijuana Reform
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is facing questions from lawmakers about marijuana for his second day in a row of appearances on Capitol Hill, but he remains unwilling to give states a signal that they will be allowed to implement legalization without federal interference.
“Let’s be frank. What they’d like is a statement that they’ve been provided a safe harbor. I don’t believe I can give that,” he said. “They’ll just have to look and make their own decision about how they conduct a marijuana enterprise.”
Sessions was responding to a question from Congressman Derek Kilmer (D-WA) during a Thrusday hearing of the House Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee.
“The state of Washington and other states have either eliminated or virtually eliminated marijuana restrictions, some for medicine only and some for so-called recreational use,” Sessions said. “It remains a violation of federal law. That’s not off the books. The federal law is still enforceable throughout the country and I have felt it not appropriate for me to somehow give a safe harbor or protection to areas around the country where it still remains a violation of federal law.”
The attorney general made a point of saying he doesn’t think cannabis use is without harm.
“My view is that marijuana is not a healthy substance,” he said. “Whenever we talk about legalization and other such issues we need to make clear that we are not in any way suggesting that the consumption of marijuana is not harmful.”
But Sessions also noted that the Department of Justice was mostly focused on other drugs, such as fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin, as well as unlawful use of prescription medications, which he said lead to “addiction and death.”
But federal prosecutors are still free to enforce marijuana prohibition, he pointed out.
“United States attorneys in your home state and every state have been instructed to use their financial resources and capabilities and their judgement, after meeting with local law enforcement and local leaders, to pursue the case they think are important and worthy, and I can’t exclude marijuana from that,” Sessions said. “I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to do so.”
On Wednesday, during an appearance before a Senate committee, Sessions acknowledged that “there may well be some benefits from medical marijuana” and said that the Department of Justice would soon take steps to license more entities to legally grow marijuana for research.
See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:
Sessions: States Can Make ‘Own Decision’ About Marijuana, But Remain At Risk