Last week Senator Cory Booker announced a bill (link) that would make cannabis use legal on a federal level. That’s big news in an industry that has already shown to have pumped huge profits into states who have independently legalized herb. Patients and recreational users are a baby step closer to being able to consume without the worries of criminal prosecution under antiquated laws passed during an era of beef between the hemp and paper industries.
Even with Senator Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act, it still has to get passed meaning that there is still a ways to go before cannabis is officially legalized.
Some of the cannabis industry’s most notable chimed in on the new bill with their outlook on (if the bill is passed) how it will impact their business and the lives of so many users.
William Waldrop, CEO of Signal Bay (link) (OTCMKTS: SGBY), a cannabis biotech company providing research, analysis and consulting services to the medical marijuana industry through its subsidiaries:
“I’m excited that such a high-profile legislator as Senator Booker has taken action on an issue as critical to the health of our economy, civil rights, and personal liberties as cannabis legalization. It’s my hope that more legislators follow suit as cannabis continues to be looked at as an essential component of medical care, and as the industry’s potential becomes fully realized.”
Krista Whitley, Founder of Social Media Unicorn (link), a cannabis brand exclusive full service marketing & sales agency:
“I grew up in a small town as an enthusiastic prohibitionist for 30 years before becoming a cannabis activist. I appreciate how hard it can be for non cannabis consumers to appreciate why the end of the failed drug war is such a pivotal turning point for America. Senator Cory Booker’s leadership isn’t just leadership for the cannabis community, but it is the leadership for all Americans who believe in equality. If my children are to grow up in an America that is truly one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, the Marijuana Justice Act is legislation that all Americans must stand up and support.”
Adam Levin, CEO of High Times (link), the leading publication in the U.S. cannabis space:
“Though I think it’s a bit early to get hopes up, this new bill is the first of what I imagine will be many proposed legislations to help curb the unjust war on drugs, and the resulting disproportionate arrest rates for people of color. We all know this war has presented very real, troublesome consequences for American citizens for decades, and it’s time for this abolition to end. Nonviolent drug offenders are losing their lives daily, and with medicinal and recreational legalization sweeping the country, these victims can’t be overlooked.”
Derek Peterson, CEO and founder of Terra Tech (link), the first publicly traded marijuana company in the United States:
“There has been a tremendous amount of legislation crafted around cannabis, from access for veterans to opening up banking for permitted and legitimate operators in the space. Senator Booker’s bill is the first truly comprehensive piece of legislation that solves most issues that exist from cannabis being classified as a Schedule 1 drug. One of the most important factors that often gets overlooked are the drug war casualties. While many begin to monetize the blossoming industry, there are countless lives and families that have been ruined for non-violent drug offenses, the very same activities which are being organized and permitted at a state level across the country. This is by far the most responsible and proactive piece of legislation that we’ve seen and we’re thrilled that the conversation for full federal legalization is now starting.”
Danny Davis, Managing Partner at Convectium (link), a branding, packaging and equipment solutions company for the legal cannabis industry:
“We fully support the legislation proposed by Cory Booker, so much so in fact, we are actively meeting with this office to see how we can help. This bill is desperately needed because we understand that the true catalyst for change is having cannabis removed as a scheduled drug and decriminalizing it. Per Mr. Booker’s comments, “We have focused the ‘drug war’ on the most vulnerable people in our communities.” The government should not be incarcerating people by comparing cannabis to the dangers of legitimate Schedule I drugs like Heroin and LSD; this is especially true for minorities who are 4x more likely to be targeted. Without this criminal element, and the negative externalities that come with it, widespread acceptance and legalization are the next logical steps. I have never heard a logical argument for listing cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, but we thank Mr. Booker for giving us several logical ways to change it.”
Norman Olson, Director of Marketing & Business Affairs for Hightech Extracts (link), an engineering company developing systems for the manufacturing of extract-based products:
“Senator Booker’s bill brings into focus some realities overlooked. States that legalized MMJ saw a drop in traffic fatalities of 12-16% in 2015. While difficult to correlate the suspicion is a reduction in drunk driving. When compared to the number of OxyContin overdose deaths of over 11,000 per year one wonders why more attention is not focused on this.”
Chuck Siegel, President and CEO of BloomBoss (link), a designer of high-efficiency, high-performance LED grow room lighting and related accessories:
“Eventually, legalization seems inevitable. It’s clear that the American public favors it and Senator Booker’s bill is a step forward in conversation that’s already taking place across the US. States that have legalized cannabis in the US, and even Canada, provide a blueprint for successful implementation and I think we’ll start to see that the old-school prohibition mentality is based on a myth; patients will have safe access to their medicine, crime will go down and states will bring in millions in tax revenue.”
To echo Adam Levine, it is too early to start waving lighters in the street but as time passes and the political changing of the guard continues, there’s sure to be more positive changes down the road for the cannabis community. As long as activists and advocates stay up on their game, the days of prohibition are numbered. That alone can be considered an effect just as good as the best cannabis strains you can find.