Here are seven things marijuana advocates should be thankful for in 2018:
1. Massachusetts Finally Getting Legal Sales
This is a pretty fresh thing to be thankful for, as legal marijuana sales in Massachusetts began TODAY. The state was originally supposed to begin legal sales in January, but that got delayed to July, and then due to difficulties with licenses and applications, the state couldn’t officially give the go-ahead until today. But now for the first time an East Coast state has legal cannabis sales.
2. Ballot Initiative Successes
Another fresh one on the list is the three successful ballot initiatives won by marijuana groups. Michigan legalized recreational marijuana, while Missouri and Utah legalized medical marijuana. Every election cycle brings a few more states into the legalization fold.
3. Jeff Sessions is Gone
After threatening to crack down on the legal marijuana industry since taking over as Attorney General, Jeff Sessions is no longer a threat after he resigned the day after the midterm elections. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem any of Trump’s top considerations for the job are pro-marijuana, but no one can be worse than Sessions, right?
4. Vermont’s Legislature
In January, Vermont became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana through the state legislature, not a ballot initiative. That’s a huge moment because it finally indicates that actual lawmakers are embracing the issue and not just reluctantly accepting it when voters approve it.
5. Pro-Marijuana Governors
Remember election day? Well, ballot initiatives weren’t the only successes for marijuana advocates. Several states elected pro-recreational marijuana governors. This includes Illinois, Connecticut, Minnesota and New Mexico. Already some of these governors are pushing for their states to legalize cannabis as soon as possible.
6. Low Prices
This is more something cannabis consumers are thankful for. Cannabis prices in the United States are dropping, and most experts say there’s no indication that will stop in the near future. So not only is marijuana legal right now in some states, it’s also super cheap!
7. Democrats Controlling the House of Representatives
We keep going back to that election! Democrats retook control of the House after this year’s midterm elections, which is good news because they’re far more receptive to marijuana legalization than Republicans. And even if Republicans still control the Senate and the White House, Democrats taking action on the issue may pressure them to get the stick out their butts and finally support legalization as well!