The U.S. Cannabis Revolution: Two Charts

The U.S. Cannabis Revolution: Two Charts
The U.S. Cannabis Revolution: Two Charts

Americans are no strangers to Revolutions. They engineered their own political revolution with their War of Independence.

The abolition of slavery produced a social revolution in the U.S. Rapid technological change and globalization is driving an ongoing economic revolution.

Now Americans are participating in a legal revolution: the movement to legalize cannabis. Cannabis legalization in the U.S. is an exercise in grassroots activism – aided by the courts.

We now know there was never any justification for cannabis Prohibition. Cannabinoids, the active ingredients in the cannabis plant, are produced naturally in the human body. They are essential to human health.

Cannabis is non-toxic. It has numerous potent medicinal and health-promoting properties.

But if people in the United States (and Canada) had waited for government to move to end cannabis Prohibition, cannabis use would still be completely illegal today.

Individual Americans challenged these corrupt anti-cannabis laws in court – and won the right to legally consume cannabis.

Voter ballots have then forced individual states to legalize cannabis, either for medicinal use or full legalization. To date, only Illinois has fully legalized cannabis via government initiative.

It is a Cannabis Revolution. And it can be illustrated in two charts.

The Cannabis Revolution

First, we see the reversal in attitudes among Americans with respect to cannabis legalization. Public opinion has moved from being strongly against cannabis legalization to being strongly in favor.

However, the first chart only paints a partial picture of the strength of this growing Cannabis Revolution. It only indicates the dramatic change in support for full cannabis legalization.

When we look at the percentage of Americans who favor either legalizing medicinal cannabis or full legalization, we now see a juggernaut of public support.

A majority of 90+%. Beyond overwhelming. Approaching unanimity. Even nearly 90% of Republican voters want to see cannabis legalized at least for medicinal purposes.
  • 96% of Democrats
  • 97% of ages 18 -- 29
  • 91% of ages 30 – 49
  • 89% of ages 50 – 64
  • 89% of seniors

When do 90% of Americans agree on anything?

Politicians seeking to stand in the way of this juggernaut – as Obstructionists to cannabis legalization – do so at their own political peril. Already, we see this Cannabis Revolution manifesting itself in numerous ways, in addition to direct voter ballots.
  1. Civil disobedience/libertarian sentiment
  2. Holiday cannabis spending
  3. ‘American Justice’
  4. Professional sports

Since U.S. courts began forcing individual states to allow legal access to cannabis, cannabis use has risen by 33% -- even in states where it remains illegal. In cannabis-legal states, consumption rates have risen much faster, by 47%.

We also see cannabis legalization motivating Americans’ libertarian inclinations.

Illinois became the most recent U.S. state to commence legal cannabis sales on January 1st. Illinois residents have endured long, line-ups in cold January weather to become the first to purchase legal recreational cannabis in that state.

Because of massive demand and short supply, quantities are often severely restricted for purchasers. But for many of the People buying cannabis products in Illinois, it’s not about how much cannabis they walk away with in their pockets after purchasing. It’s about the right to legally do so.

As Americans embrace cannabis with ever greater enthusiasm, cannabis is becoming a consumer tradition as part of holiday festivities.

For 4th of July celebrations, spending by Americans on cannabis now rivals spending on Independence Day fireworks themselves. Cannabis is on track to eclipse alcohol spending for the 4th of July as legalization spreads across the U.S.

This Christmas season, the annual Black Friday shopping orgy was another disaster for U.S. retailers. Despite steep discounts averaging 19.1%, Black Friday spending actually fell by 6% versus an average of the previous four Fridays.

Then there was Cannabis Wednesday. Cannabis retailers offered much more modest discounts on their cannabis products (12.8%). But sales jumped by 40% versus an average of the previous four Wednesdays.

Where cannabis use remains illegal, U.S. jurors are now showing reluctance to impose harsh criminal penalties. A New Orleans prosecutor was forced to offer a very lenient plea-bargain to an African American accused of cannabis possession.

Why? Because the State couldn’t find 12 jurors who were willing to even consider the 10 – 15 year prison sentence originally sought by the prosecutor.

As Americans become more outspoken with respect to their use of cannabis and their desire to see cannabis legalized, this now includes a number of high-profile professional athletes.

Professional sports (especially contact sports) take an enormous physical toll on the athletes. The many potent medicinal and health-promoting properties of cannabis are badly needed by professional athletes – especially using cannabis as a benign alternative to dangerous opioids for pain management.

Indeed, the tragic death of 27 year-old MLB pitcher Tyler Skaggs – from a combination of opioids and alcohol – has resulted in Major League Baseball removing cannabis as a banned substance for its players. Conversely, MLB is now conducting opioid testing of players.

The National Hockey League has already (quietly) removed penalties for cannabis use. The National Football League is going to be changing its own cannabis rules soon, according to both a prominent NFL owner and high-profile player.


A government ignoring the People

Standing directly in the path of this Cannabis Revolution? Congress.

Perched in their ivory towers and deluded by their lingering anti-cannabis biases, many members of Congress (especially Republicans) remain staunch cannabis Obstructionists. These politicians are only too happy to accept mountains of “lobbying” dollars from Big Pharma to keep cannabis illegal in the U.S. at the federal level.

However, politicians are also notorious cowards – especially with respect to threats to their own re-election.

As members of Congress become aware of the 90+% of Americans who want cannabis legalized (at least) for medicinal purposes, how many of these Cowards will be willing to continue to vote against cannabis legalization (normalization) bills?

Already, a GOP representative from inside Congress is openly questioning why his own party won’t capitalize on political support for cannabis legalization among Americans. Washington is exposed.

Nearly two and a half centuries ago, Americans liberated themselves from an oppressive government that ignored the will of the People.

Today, as the Cannabis Revolution unfolds, Americans are once again confronted by a government that is completely ignoring the will of the People – even at the direct expense of American lives.

Americans continue to die (and get seriously ill) from black market vaping products because Congress won’t legalize and regulate these products at the national level.

Americans continue to die from opioid overdoses at a horrifying rate (roughly 40,000 per year). This is despite the fact that legalizing cannabis is now a safe-and-proven means of reducing opioid deaths, reducing opioid abuse, and reducing opioid addiction.

Nothing can stop the Cannabis Revolution in the U.S. The People have spoken.

For cannabis investors, do you want to put your money into an industry:
a)  Still in its infancy;
b)  Centering around the world’s most versatile soft commodity;
c)  In a market where 90+% of consumers want to see these products on store shelves today?

That should be a no-brainer for most.
Marijuana Industry