Could This Be the Best Hope for U.S. Marijuana Legalization?

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) announced on Monday that he’s creating a marijuana commission to study the issue of legalizing the drug in his state. This commission, made up of “some of the best and brightest” will be tasked with making recommendations on how to proceed with legalization in New Jersey. Why New Jersey? After all, New Jersey is the only state in the U.S. to have legalized medical marijuana, and the state is home to one of the oldest and most well-respected medical marijuana dispensaries in the country. But Christie, a staunch conservative, isn’t the first governor to look into the legalization issue for his state. In fact, there are several states that have decriminalized marijuana in one form or another—and

In the nearly 50 years since its inception, marijuana has seen a number of incarnations. From the “Reefer Madness” style propaganda films that attempted to scare people away, to the rock-star status of the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, to the “Green Rush” of the early 2000s, when cannabis became a lucrative economic opportunity for people looking to cash in on the plant’s popularity.

As it turns out, there may be hope for legalization in the United States after all. One of the country’s largest pot stocks has started a move toward acceptance in the mainstream, and legalization in the U.S. has never looked brighter. First, let’s look at Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE: CGC): The Ontario-based company that’s worth over $8 billion is listed on Canadian stock exchanges and is run by CEO Bruce Linton. He recently sat down with the Chicago Tribune to talk about the company’s growth, expansion plans, and plans for recreational pot sales.. Read more about marijuana’s legalized federal 2021 and let us know what you think.

Is this the best chance for marijuana legalization in the United States in the near future?

I have written extensively about the legalization of marijuana in the United States in recent years. Finally, the legalization of marijuana at the federal level in the United States will almost certainly be the biggest growth driver for marijuana stocks.

So the sooner the United States legalizes marijuana at the federal level, the sooner the buy and hold strategy that I’ve been advocating for years will take effect. In general, it has had some success, but legalization at the federal level would take it to a whole new level.

In the hundreds of thousands of words (I’m probably approaching a million now) I’ve devoted to this topic, there is one crucial factor that I just realized I overlooked: Supreme Court.

What does the Supreme Court have to do with weed? Well, not bad, actually.

In all the articles I’ve written about the legalization of marijuana in the United States, I’ve almost always approached the issue from a legislative perspective: Can a bill to legalize drugs pass Congress?

This seemed the most likely path. Several bills have been introduced in Congress to legalize marijuana. But in our gridlocked legislature, where the two parties can’t agree on the color of the sky, let alone basic legislation, it’s a long, hard road.

Another possible path to marijuana legalization in the United States surfaced during the last presidential election.

Since most Democratic presidential candidates favor some level of legalization of marijuana, a presidential order (an instrument that does not require Congressional approval) could effectively decriminalize marijuana by removing it from List I (which it shares with methamphetamine and heroin).

In 2020, before the Democrats elected their presidential candidate, it seemed entirely possible that we would get a president with a marijuana legalization agenda (or at least a president who supports the legalization movement).

In the end, a key Democratic candidate who did not support legalization won: President Joe Biden.

No matter how you feel about politics, this was not the best outcome for a marijuana investor.

That’s not to say that if either candidate had won, he or she would have gotten marijuana legalized in America (politicians are fickle and campaign promises are often broken), but at least there would have been some hope.

Now, we have to wonder if Biden can make progress on this issue, as we have seen in the past with politicians who were working on other issues that had popular support.

I’ve written before about how Biden might change his stance on marijuana legalization, which has become much more likely with the selection of Kamala Harris as vice president, as Harris is in favor of marijuana legalization (although she is by no means a staunch supporter of legalization).

But since that remains unlikely, the U.S. presidency will likely remain closed to the idea of legalizing weed, at least for the next three years or so.

For anyone who remembers their social studies classes, the last branch of government remains: the judiciary.

Of course, the U.S. Supreme Court does not make the laws – it only determines whether they are consistent with the Constitution – but it can influence the implementation and enforcement of laws.

Take gay marriage, for example.

Although the issue has not received support in Congress or at the presidential level, the Supreme Court ruled about six years ago that same-sex marriage bans are not enforceable. This decision essentially legalized same-sex marriage in one decision (helped by the fact that many states legalized the practice first).

Marijuana is in a somewhat similar situation. Since cannabis is legal in many states of the union but prohibited at the federal level, this situation is ridiculous and untenable.

And at least one member of the Supreme Court agrees with me: Judge Clarence Thomas.

Akimbo stands up to the United States

In the recent case of Standing Akimbo v. An opportunity has arisen in the United States to address the issue of marijuana legalization. Standing Akimbo is a medical marijuana dispensary in Denver that operates legally under Colorado law, but obviously illegally under federal law.

As a result, the company is at odds with many federal agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service, over whether its marijuana operations in the state will be treated under state law like any other legal business. (Source: Clarence Thomas breaks down controversial and volatile federal marijuana ban, Reason, June 28, 2021)

If the case makes it to the Supreme Court, it could do wonders for the issue of cannabis legalization in the United States. Unfortunately, the court refused to hear the case, which drew fierce criticism from Thomas.

Many marijuana-related businesses operate exclusively with cash because federal law prohibits certain financial institutions from knowingly accepting deposits from businesses or providing other banking services to businesses in violation of federal law, Thomas said.

He added,

Cash transactions naturally attract burglars and thieves. But if a marijuana business admits to hiring armed guards for protection, the owners and guards could be violating a federal law that imposes stiff penalties for using firearms to facilitate a drug crime….. A marijuana user can also be a federal felon if they simply possess a firearm.

(Source: Ibid).

I’ve been saying this for years, and I’m glad someone with legal clout thinks so.

More importantly, it means keeping an eye on the Supreme Court as a potential player in the process of legalizing the marijuana market in the United States.

Although Thomas is only a judge, there is a chance that, if the marijuana case goes against him, the Court will question the legality of the federal-state separation in which we currently live. If that happens, it could be enough to send the price of marijuana stocks soaring.

To be fair, the Supreme Court has heard marijuana cases before, but each case is unique and each new case presents an opportunity to end marijuana prohibition once and for all – something marijuana stock investors have been looking forward to for years.

Analyst

Stock enthusiasts looking for the right investment timing to maximize returns should keep an eye on the U.S. Supreme Court in addition to Congress and the White House.

That way, they can get ahead of the legalization of marijuana in the United States and maximize their profits from marijuana stocks.The federal government is beginning to push back against the longstanding trend of states legalizing marijuana.  Arizona’s new Republican governor, Doug Ducey, signed a bill into law today that bans state-licensed marijuana businesses from doing any kind of business with the federal government.  The law also prohibits Arizona state agencies from even  using federal funds to enforce federal marijuana laws.  Ducey, who has said he supports full legalization, signed the measure to send a message to the federal government that Arizona will not be a willing partner in the War on Drugs.. Read more about federal legalization bill 2021 status and let us know what you think.

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