Who would have believed it!
Go back just a few years ago.
Treat a patient with medical marijuana? The mainstream media, Big Pharma, the medical establishment and government health agencies would chastise anyone from the alternative-healing community as a quack for promoting marijuana’s healing qualities.
While acceptance for medical and recreational uses has gone mainstream around the world – even gaining traction in the United States – reactionary forces in America’s federal government are threatening to derail the marijuana bandwagon.
In January, Attorney General Jeff Sessions once again sent shock waves through the legal-marijuana world. He rescinded President Barack Obama-era policies maintaining a hands-off approach to federally prosecuting marijuana operations in states where it’s legal.
By falsely resurrecting decades of reefer-madness fears, Sessions, who continues to tout the line that pot is a gateway drug to opiates and is just “slightly less awful” than heroin, gave US prosecutors wide discretion to enforce the longstanding federal prohibition on pot.
Sessions even empowered prosecutors to go after regulated dispensaries and cultivation operations where state laws allow them.
Almost instantly, a bipartisan outcry from Congress, especially from states reaping millions in marijuana tax revenues, demanded that the Trump administration stick to its campaign promise to leave legal-pot decisions to the states.
In fact, so robust is the pot-revenue trend that some cities and states are expecting growth to outpace alcohol sales. And in Aspen, Colo., that just happened. Sales of marijuana products in 2017 were up 16 percent from 2016 to $11.3 million. Alcohol sales, at $10.5 million, were flat year over year.
In 2016, the Trends Research Institute identified “Money Reefer Madness” as one of its Top Trends for 2017. But we cautioned that while the rise of legal marijuana would expand and accelerate, “the trip will be riddled with twists and detours.”
For the United States, Sessions is a twist and detour. But the global, and even US, trend lines we identified over a year ago hold strong. As forecast, both legalized recreational and medical marijuana are becoming more accepted by the public. Americans are expected to spend more than $10 billion on legal marijuana in 2018.
And while Sessions may hate pot, recent polls show over 60 percent of Americans favor legalizing it. Mostly evangelicals and older Americans oppose it.
Again, from Israel to the United States and across Europe, scientific research into medical marijuana’s benefits is being studied, documented and put into practice. Medical marijuana is fast emerging as a legitimate, effective medication, highly beneficial in treating autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, autism and epilepsy.
TREND FORECAST: The fast-moving track for legalized marijuana is teeming with profit opportunities for OnTrendpreneurs® and multinationals.
But political opposition will slow or temporarily derail enthusiasm for potential investors. Thus, serious investors should be mindful of the nuances of how a pot law is written. Studying the political and procedural climate in states and nations passing marijuana laws is critical; the range of differences is wide, but the focus on the bottom line remains the same: tax revenue. Just as governments once banned alcohol and gambling, citing moral standards, but legalized them to reap revenue benefits, for the same reason they will legalize pot.