Debating if we will see the United States end federal cannabis prohibition within our lifetime has really morphed into conversations about “when” Uncle Sam will finally sweep Reefer Madness into the dustbin of history. There are the more optimistic among us who see things falling into place rather quickly, counting on common sense to prevail swiftly, including some important elected officials evolving on the issue. Others are more pessimistic, or realistic, depending upon your perspective, thinking that it’ll be more in the 5-10 year range. I imagine that those that don’t see legalization occurring within the next decade are in the minority. You can count Irwin Simon, CEO of Canadian cannabis company Tilray as one of the more optimistic prognosticators, expectating the U.S. to legalize within the next two years:
“Citing the recent legislative push to end the federal prohibition of marijuana, ‘I see over the next 18-to-24 months that cannabis in some format will have legalization,’ Simon told Yahoo Finance Live (video above), later adding: ‘Trust me: When legalization does happen, we will be ready… to be a part of it.’
“The Canadian cannabis company — listed on both the Nasdaq (TLRY) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TLRY.TO) — currently has around 14% market share in the medical and adult recreational use cannabis market in Canada, Simon noted, with an objective to reach 30%.
“And while ‘we don’t to anything in cannabis today in the U.S.’ due to the federal prohibition, Simon said, Tilray is preparing for the future ability to further enter the American market.”
While I appreciate folks’ optimism, if you gave me an over/under on two years, I’m taking the over, based upon political realities. I know that it can be extremely frustrating for the cannabis community that such an obvious failed experiment like the war on cannabis can take so long to overturn, but the political realities overturning a position hardened by decades of propaganda and millions upon millions of lobbying dollars are difficult to overcome. Most likely, it’ll take 60 votes in the Senate to pass a legalization bill, as unlike the House of Representatives which can pass a bill with a simple majority, prohibitionist senators have the option of invoking the filibuster to force supermajority support. It’s not even 100% certain that legalization would get 51 votes to farner a majority, but it’s definitely close.
There has been some talk about eliminating the filibuster, so that procedural change would change things and make the 18-24 window more likely. Only time will tell, but if we remain vigilant and continue to speak the truth about cannabis and the harmful consequences of prohibition, the truth will eventually set the cannabis community free.
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