If our nation doesn’t get hip to hemp, we stand to lose an opportunity for prosperity the likes of which not every generation experiences.
There is a very real and extremely content argument out there for the mass legalization of marijuana in America, and you don’t need to enjoy the psychoactive effects of certain preparations of the plant to reap the benefits.
You see, marijuana isn’t just the stoner drug of basement apartments anymore. As science and technology have improved, so has our understanding of this once-damned drug. Horrifying ailments, such as epilepsy in young children, have been stymied by certain compounds within the plant that the slackers still living with their parents in their mid-30’s couldn’t care less about.
Furthermore, legalization is undeniably on the rise. If the United States is late to that party, we will have missed an opportunity to become the world’s number one exporter of the plant, based on our enormously dominant agricultural presence on the world’s stage. The possibilities for prosperity are undoubtedly on the level of the great Gold Rushes of the late 19th century, and skipping this opportunity seems downright foolish.
Michigan isn’t about to let that happen.
With a last minute infusion of cash and support that was baked into Proposal 1 from the start, voters decided to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use Tuesday by a comfortable 56-44 percent margin, becoming the first state in the Midwest to free the weed.
But voters shouldn’t conclude that marijuana will be readily available or an instant presence on the streets of cities across the state.
So when will Detrioters be ready to mellow out?
Ten days after the election results are certified, which should be by early December. But marijuana won’t be commercially available for sale until probably early 2020, in part because the state must still put regulations in place and issue licenses for recreational sales. “It’s not going to be an earth-shattering change,” said Jeffrey Hank, the East Lansing attorney who was one of the leaders of the effort to get the legalization question on the ballot. But after certification, “adults will no longer be arrested for simple possession and use of marijuana.”
Given the decimation experienced by Michigan after the massive bust in the automotive industry a decade or so ago, it will be interesting to see how much of an impact legalized marijuana will have on the state’s economy.
If overtly positive, as many predict, Michigan could make the case for national legalization as a tool for revitalizing urban decay, all while taking a major bite out of the revenues of local drug gangs who tend to congregate in lower income areas.