4/20/2021: Time for Feds to End Cannabis Prohibition (Minnesota, too**)
New Mexico Legalizes Recreational Cannabis.”
–Santa Fe New Mexican (April 13, 2021).
“New York Legalizes Recreational Marijuana, Tying Move to Racial Equity.”
–The New York Times (March 31, 2021).
“Marijuana Will Be Legal in Virginia on July 1.”
–Virgina Mercury (April 7, 2021).
[Note to Readers: The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway (“Berkshire”), or any other entity referenced. Edina Realty is a subsidiary of Berkshire.]
The old definition of the Yiddish word “chutzpah” was, “Killing your parents, then throwing yourself on the mercy of the court because you’re an orphan.”
There are two new definitions, both courtesy of the anti-cannabis lobby:
Objection #1: “Cannabis has no medical benefit(s).”
The reason cannabis’ properties have yet to be broadly studied, let alone medically validated, is because it remains a “Schedule 1” drug in the eyes of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) — no different than heroin or LSD.
Remove that legal bugaboo, throw in some funding, and in 3-5 years, you’ll see loads of scientific data.
Or, look at Israel, where leading scientists like organic chemist Raphael Mechoulam have been legally studying cannabis for decades.
Objection #2: “Legal cannabis attracts crime.”
In fact, the statistics on that are inconclusive.
But even if that’s true, there’s a simple reason: dispensaries are targets because they’re 100% cash-based.
Wanna guess why?
Because cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, banks will not (knowingly) do business with dispensaries and other cannabis purveyors.
Instead of making researchers, cannabis entrepreneurs, and their customers jump thru proverbial hoops, the federal government should make things easier.
Include minority-owned businesses in the nascent industry; ensure they have access to capital; and wipe clean the criminal records of millions of Americans — disproportionately black and brown — who are felons simply because they personally consumed (vs. sold) small amounts.
Do all that, and future April 20ths will truly be something to celebrate . . .
P.S.: Notice which notorious words are missing from this post: “marijuana,” “pot,” and “weed.”
The preferred term these days is “cannabis” (less stigma).
**Minnesota currently allows medical — but not recreational — use of cannabis.