Addressing Cannabis in State of the Union
Tonight the President of the United States will address the nation in the annual State of the Union speech. During these lengthy addresses, the commander in chief typically outlines his agenda for the upcoming year. Undoubtedly, tonight’s speech will focus on the economy and what’s going on in the job market as well as the various attacks that have been taking place throughout the world. The big question on the minds of cannabis enthusiasts, activists and advocates is whether or not the President will dare to talk about another issue that’s on everyone’s minds: weed.
In last year’s speech, Obama failed to acknowledge cannabis legislation and regulations around the country, despite it being one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Despite the changes in Colorado and the impact of the historical shift in policy in that state, there was not one single mention of marijuana even though he spoke at length about the economic realities facing the country at that time.
There have been a number of significant political changes that have happened since his previous address and the growth of cannabis use and acceptance in our culture is only growing. Most notable were the monumentally successful elections that got marijuana legalized for adults over the age of 21 in states Alaska and Oregon as well as Guam. Throughout the country, there were various opportunities for residents to vote on cannabis issues at the ballot box.
People in high places have also joined in the call for an end to the War on Drugs including Attorney General Eric Holder who showed signs of support for reforming cannabis legislation when he announced his resignation last fall. California Attorney General Kamala Harris also brought attention to the need for a shift in regulations in the country but especially in California, noting that legalization was inevitable in the state. Politicians weren’t the only ones to make their positions on the issue known. Prominent media outlets like the New York Times have even thrown their hats in the ring.
Last summer, the newspaper surprised the country when it released their six-part series that called for the federal legalization of cannabis. Immediately following that, they made history by being the first company to run a full-page marijuana advertisement. If there was ever a time for Obama to pay attention to the cultural shifts when it comes to cannabis, it’s now.
For certain, there will be more talks of the economy and the light at the end of the tunnel many people are starting to see when it comes to the future of finance. President Obama is hopeful and optimistic as well.
“America’s resurgence is real,” he said. “Our job now is to make sure that every American feels that they’re a part of our country’s comeback. That’s what I’ll focus on in my State of the Union.”
Many people believe that cannabis will be the key to reviving the country’s economic stability, as it has the ability to be a billion dollar market — once federally legalized. Will Obama take the time to mention what’s been happening before everyone’s eyes or will he continue to ignore the unstoppable movement against marijuana prohibition? Tonight may be his chance to show that he is truly paying attention.
Watch at 9pm ET online at whitehouse.gov/sotu or check your local news station.
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