Marijuana legalization is rapidly gaining popularity around America and there are several predictions that 2016 will be a groundbreaking year. In particular, the themes that will dominate in 2016 involve the ever-growing marijuana business industry and research that answers people’s concerns about marijuana’s effects on the brain.
Although marijuana legalization has traditionally been advocated by Cheech-and-Chong types, 2015 proved that marijuana legalization is an issue that is looked at as a business equation to many of those controlling the current legal marijuana industry.
Highlighting this point, a recent push to have marijuana legalized in the state of Kentucky has focused on the need for states to use marijuana as a source of revenue. According to a December 17, 2015, report from the Louisville Courier-Journal, Kentucky Senator Perry Clark said the following about the need for marijuana legalization.
“The time of laughing and snickering about marijuana and marijuana cigarettes is over. We’ve got serious businessmen who have approached me on this now and say they are taking it to the governor.”
Across America, 2016 is particularly predicted to be a big year for policy reforms, according to the Huffington Post, and the federal reforms are the reforms marijuana business investors are wishing for.
Regardless, if the federal government does not make marijuana legal in 2016, Fortune has a list of states that will likely attempt to legalize marijuana this year and reports the following.
“Several more states could join the party next year, when the presidential election will increase turnout among younger, pot-friendly voters. Initiatives to land marijuana legalization on 2016 ballots are well underway in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Nevada, while a handful of other states could also put legalization to a vote.”
In fact, it is claimed by the Sun Times that marijuana will go mainstream in 2016, according to a survey.
It is becoming so mainstream that mass-produced design and corporate branding have become a trend that will likely grow in 2016.
Standup Pouches writes on their blog that one of the key concerns of the marijuana business industry is creating packaging in 2016 that contains certain types of marijuana-specific safety warnings.
Other new trends that may appear in 2016 are marijuana strains that do not get people intoxicated, according to DL Online. This new THC-free marijuana type may also become part of the trend that began in 2015 for marijuana products created to treat children for illnesses like seizures.
Eventually, Time says that by 2020, other states will be legalizing as well (if the federal government does not make it legal nationwide, first) and says a 2015 survey projects that America will have 18 states with “legalized recreational marijuana in the next five years, a huge increase from the four states that currently have or are in the process of creating legal markets for pot.”
Of course, business investors are getting in on the marijuana trend in 2016. For example, Forbes points on January 8 that former Napster CEO, Sean Parker, is donating $500,000 to recreational marijuana legalization campaigns and called it a “sensible reform based measure that protects children, gives law enforcement additional resources, and… will yield economic benefits for all Californians.”
Other things to expect in 2016 are more answers to questions about the effects of marijuana as it becomes legalized. For example, MIC covers yet another study about how marijuana affects the brain.
In the end, one of the biggest predictions about marijuana legalization comes from the Washington Post. They pointed out on December 16, 2015, that the opponents to marijuana legalization may find that they have no more valid arguments in 2016.
In particular, they quote the National Institute on Drug Abuse stating the following about the effect of legalizing marijuana on the teen population in America during 2015.
“We are heartened to see that most illicit drug use is not increasing, non-medical use of prescription opioids is decreasing, and there is improvement in alcohol and cigarette use rates.”
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