A June 4, 2019 article by Forbes contributor Mike Adams shines a light – in a very positive way – on new legislation by the state of Illinois to legalize adult-use cannabis. This would make Illinois the 11th state to provide a green light for legal recreational cannabis. But that’s not the principal reason why Adams was praising the bill.
This “progressive” marijuana legislation package does much more than just give adults legal access to pot. While Adams spent considerable time poking fun at the unsuccessful efforts of states like New York and New Jersey to pass cannabis reform, he also addressed some of the other highlights from this bill.
The law in Illinois, which is set to take effect January 2020, comes with a plan to expunge the criminal records of around 770,000 people convicted of minor pot offenses. It also creates opportunities for minorities to capitalize on the new cannabis trade -- giving them points toward licensing for living in oppressed areas.
It’s not a perfect plan, but it is a significant first step in the right direction. At least some social justice advocates seem to think so.
Cannabis (marijuana) is non-toxic and non-addictive. Cannabinoids, the active ingredients in the cannabis plant are produced naturally in the human body (known as endocannabinoids). These cannabinoids are now being used to treat literally thousands of different medical conditions.
(Person smoking a “joint” in the Czech Republic)
However, you would never know this by referencing its legal status in the United States. Here it is a Schedule 1 drug, equated with heroin and LSD, and deemed to have “no medically accepted” uses.
Bullshit. Still, after many decades of anti-cannabis Fake News from the mainstream media, there remain large segments of the population in the U.S. (and other countries) who still mistakenly view marijuana as “a dangerous drug”.
Few of these millions of people would ever consider using cannabis, let alone investing in cannabis stocks. The pending legislation in Illinois sends a message to such people.
The message is this: cannabis Prohibition was a mistake.
Nothing acknowledges that mistake better than wiping away criminal convictions for simple possession/usage of marijuana. But simply expunging criminal records doesn’t remove the harm previously caused by such convictions.
Creating “opportunities for minorities” and those “living in oppressed areas” offers a (cannabis) helping hand to those whose lives are most likely to have been negatively impacted by previous marijuana convictions.
Enlightened cannabis legislation like this won’t put money into the pockets of cannabis investors – directly. It will make cannabis and the cannabis industry seem “mainstream” and legitimate to more people: cannabis consumers and (perhaps) new cannabis investors.
A bill pending in Delaware to legalize adult-use marijuana also contains provisions similar to Illinois’ legislation. Marijuana legalization is a genie that can’t be put back into the bottle.
Cannabis normalization is a trend that will take longer, needing to counter many years of baseless anti-cannabis propaganda. But this bodes well for the long-term future of the cannabis industry and cannabis investing.