The issue of cannabis legalization is picking up steam in the US. The September Democratic presidential debate disappointed marijuana supporters, but the November debate raised the topic once more.
At the debate, Democratic candidate Joe Biden explained why he opposes full-scale legalization, and Democratic candidate Cory Booker criticized his stance.
Biden doesn’t want cannabis legalized
In Joe Biden Won’t Legalize Cannabis—Why? I talked about Biden’s explanation as to why he opposes legalization. He feels more research is required to understand the pros and cons of marijuana before a federal decision is made. However, he supports the legalization of medical cannabis and the decriminalization of cannabis.
Cory Booker criticized Biden’s stance
At the November debate, Booker lashed out at Biden’s comment on legalization. CNN reported him as saying, “I thought you might have been high when you said it.” Booker, who has always been a strong supporter of legalization, feels Biden’s stance will cause Democrats to lose African American voters. He feels there is racial injustice when it comes to marijuana-related crimes.
Booker said the fact that people in Congress consume marijuana while others are being arrested for it is a symptom of racial discrimination. In the debate, Booker said, “And let me tell you because marijuana—marijuana in our country is already legal for privileged people. And it’s—the war on drugs has been a war on black and brown people.”
Booker’s comments come as no surprise, as racial disparity related to cannabis has been the case in Washington as well. This disparity is one of the factors pushing Washington to change its marijuana laws. AP News stated, “Part of the rationale of legalizing marijuana in Washington State in 2012 was to remedy the disproportionate effect the drug war has had on people of color, but minority ownership of cannabis businesses in the state remains paltry.” For more info, read Marijuana: Why Is Washington Changing Its Laws?
Cory Booker’s stance on cannabis legalization
Booker, along with other Democratic candidates, has always been a strong advocate of full-scale legalization. He’s also introduced a marijuana bill to get cannabis legalized. Other Democratic candidates Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Beto O’Rourke have also always supported full-scale legalization.
Booker feels that full-scale legalization could help the US reduce racial discrimination and help Democrats gain African American voters’ support. A New York Times article discussed how Booker feels Democratic candidates have always favored the white working-class vote. According to him, this racial class suffers the most when it comes to cannabis-related crimes. He pointed out that there had been a drop in African American voters in Wisconsin in the 2016 election.
Biden’s answer to this was that he supports full decriminalization and wants all records expunged. However, he feels it isn’t wrong to want to understand everything about marijuana before legalizing it. I’m inclined to agree, but higher-level research needs more capital, and only federal legalization can make that happen.
Is the cannabis industry recovering?
Discussions about cannabis legalization are gaining momentum at a good time. It appears the cannabis industry is recovering. It’s suffered this year due to various headwinds, and investors have eagerly anticipated major cannabis players’ earnings results. Aphria and Curaleaf impressed with their results. Curaleaf stock has gained a whopping 15% since its earnings release on November 19, and GMP feels like it has even more upside potential. To learn more, read Curaleaf Stock: GMP Expects More than 200% Growth.
Meanwhile, Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Growth (CGC) (WEED), and Cronos Group (CRON) disappointed investors with their earnings results. These cannabis stocks took a hit. As a result, most cannabis stocks were trading in the red until November 20.
However, November 21 turned out in favor of the cannabis sector. Aphria (APHA) gained 9.5%, while Curaleaf (CURLF) gained 2.5% on the day. Meanwhile, Aurora gained 18.1%, Canopy gained 15.0%, and Cronos gained 10.9%.
Cowen and Company has increased its forecast for the cannabis market for 2030. To learn more, read Cowen Boosts Estimate for US Cannabis Market in 2030.
What about Trump?
In my opinion, President Donald Trump’s stance on cannabis legalization will depend mostly on which Democratic candidate is standing against him. Trump hasn’t said anything about legalization yet, but he could take action at an opportune time.
For more cannabis-related news and updates, be sure to visit 420 Investor Daily.