In 2016, Colorado’s marijuana industry peaked by surpassing $1 billion dollars in sales. For an industry that is illegal in many parts of the United States this is a huge accomplishment as well as a concern for many Americans. For decades the United States has been battling a “War on Drugs”. Drugs are a large part of America’s economy with prescription drug companies raking in billions of dollars annually with the help of the United States government alongside the lobbyists that these drug companies pay handsomely to keep their best interests in mind.
A large part of President Trump’s platform while running for president was that he planned to reduce the restrictions placed upon companies. His plan to reduce regulations is said to help stimulate the economy by freeing up companies from having to conform to strenuous safety and economic restrictions which have been put in place to protect the consumer. The question now is, while freeing up corporations from these restrictions will his administration also become more lenient on the booming marijuana industry?
Many of President Trump’s cabinet members have opposed the legalization of marijuana. Attorney General Sessions, while a member of the senate, was strongly opposed to marijuana for medical as well as recreational purposes. This is not a good sign for the marijuana industry which has been growing rapidly. In our most recent election cycle many states have approved new legislation either legalizing cannabis for either recreational or medicinal use. Other states decriminalizing the drug, reducing the penalty of possession of small amounts of cannabis from a felony to a misdemeanor. With so many states changing their stance on cannabis it will not be long before a majority of states have laws that are contradictory to the national stance on the drug, which currently has marijuana as a Schedule I drug which holds the same penalties for possession as heroin and cocaine.
President Trump has taken office during a pivotal moment in the “Golden Age” of weed entrepreneurship. It is a modern day gold rush for individuals that have the vision for the possibilities of legal marijuana. Is President Trump truly a believer in free enterprise or does he want to continue the seriously flawed approach that the United Staes has had towards marijuana for decades? Only time will tell.