Arkansas has a poll showing the majority support the legalization of marijuana. Maryland will be voting on the legalization of marijuana in November. Legislators in Wisconsin are in a fight to legalize it. Members of the republican party in Missouri are revising bills pushing for the legalization of marijuana. Here in Texas, republican incumbent Sid Miller is pushing for the expansion of medical marijuana while his democratic challenger, Susan Hays, is pushing for all Texans to have the ability to use marijuana at the recreational level.
I have said it before, and I will continue to say it. It is not if…it’s when.
Our fight shouldn’t be focused on solely getting marijuana legal because that is a fight that is already being won. Marijuana will be legal it’s just a matter of time. When you have politicians running for office that speak about consuming cannabis for their insomnia and there is no media backlash you should realize that marijuana legalization is all but a done deal. Recent polls show that 55% of Texans want legal use and 72% support medical marijuana. So, while we wait for the “when” the question should be “What are you doing to prepare for the inevitable?”
There is more to an industry than direct selling of the product. When alcohol became legal the industries that operated in the shadows were able to come to light and thrive. Whether it was bars, breweries, glassware companies, mixers, taxes, etc., there are plenty of opportunities in the business of alcohol that attract new people to the industry every day. Companies that were once small mom and pops are now multinational conglomerates and a lot of that is because they were able to seize and build on the momentum of the industry shortly after prohibition ended.
Prohibition is about to end for marijuana. A lot of those companies that were able to gain a foothold in that alcohol industry are also looking at the marijuana industry because they know their history. A lot of major companies involved in the tobacco industry are trying to the same thing. The ultimate question is are you going to seize anything out of this? Are we going to seize anything out of this?
It’s an uphill battle but it needs to be focused on because otherwise we’ll look back at an industry that was totally taken over without making sure that the purveyors of the culture are taken care of. When we speak about legalization, we don’t just speak of being able to buy cannabis recreationally. We also speak about the countless number of people that are in prison because they used weed recreationally. We speak about the people who had their lives derailed because of petty and draconian laws unfairly focused on certain parts of our population. We make sure that business opportunities and licenses are granted to the people and places that have been unfairly affected by decades of unfair laws.
Because in order to build up this culture…the true culture…we have to make sure people from this culture are supported. We have to make sure the people that have put in the work are able to reap the rewards. And the answer to that question shouldn’t be “When?” It should be now. This culture only builds if we’re building it.