Will Trump Stand in the Way of the Growing Marijuana Industry?

Studies have shown that legal marijuana is expected to create more than a quarter million new American jobs. And according to a recent report, marijuana sales will exceed beyond $24 billion nationwide by the year 2025 and this will in turn create 280,000 jobs for Americans within the next three years. For example, in Colorado, where recreational and medical use of marijuana is legal, the marijuana industry generated more than $1.3 billion in sales in 2016, which means that the state garnered close to $200 million in tax revenue. 

This all sounds grand, until we look at the future of the legal marijuana industry. The only thing that would stop this growing industry would be federal regulations, and with the current state of the Trump administration and its view on marijuana, this could be a difficult run. For example, Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, has stated that the public can expect to see "greater enforcement" of federal marijuana laws under President Donald Trump. Another member of the Trump administration, Jeff Sessions, also stated that "marijuana is only slightly less awful than heroin," even though two years ago the Drug Enforcement Agency admitted that marijuana is less dangerous than heroin, Sessions still was perpetuating these alternative facts. 

But if Trump does decide to go after legal marijuana, the pushback would be tremendous. A national poll conducted last week, showed that 71 percent of voters believe the government should not enforce federal marijuana laws against states that have voted to legalize the drug.

Another pushback would be in regards to states like Colorado who have already legalized marijuana. If the Trump administration decided to follow through with this crackdown on these states, "they will be taking billions of dollars away from state-sanctioned businesses and putting that money back into the hands of drug cartels," said Erik Altieri, the executive director of National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. In terms of Colorado who has already perfected this system of regulating marijuana, Kristi Kelly, the Marijuana Industry Group's executive director, stated that "The Colorado cannabis programs are heavily regulated, heavily taxed, and heavily enforced by state and local governments. Resources are better spent pursuing illegal cartels than state and locally licensed, tax-paying business operators." 

Thus, if the Trump administration decides to enforce this crackdown on legal marijuana, there will be a magnificent amount of pushback from states and citizens alike.