With the entire west coast of the United States offering legal recreational marijuana by the beginning of next year, there is an expectation of a boom in cannabis tourism. Marijuana still cannot be consumed in public and people cannot leave the state with recreational marijuana. How many tourists do you think will try and cross state lines with marijuana though?
At the heart of the issue, cannabis tourism could result in such a jump in volume of people that try and cross state lines with marijuana that it begs the question of how long the federal government will ignore the infraction. Looking into the future, it is this specific issue that may give the Department of Justice the leverage they need to fight in court to interfere with state legalized recreational marijuana.
Last year, California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts joined five other states in legalizing the recreational use and sale of marijuana.
The action taken by California is especially significant. With its huge population, California will create the foundation for a giant marijuana tourism industry, causing millions of travelers to fly or drive across state lines for the purpose of trying the controversial relaxing drug. The sales of marijuana in the United States already are starting to rival those of alcohol at liquor stores.
All this, of course, is subject to the anti-marijuana policies of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who continues to believe that the federal outlawing of marijuana should require these nine states to cease the sale of pot. Among the various contentious attitudes of the Trump administration, the possibility of court action against the nine marijuana-permitting states is one of the major upcoming conflicts to be expected in the next few years.
Some Americans believe the fight was resolved almost 70 years ago. It was in 1944 that a New York politician named Fiorello LaGuardia (who later served as mayor) was asked to research and write a report on whether marijuana posed any sort of danger to his state’s population. In the ensuing “La Guardia Committee Report: The Marihuana Problem in the City of New York,” he concluded that the controversy about marijuana was simply noise and lacked any scientific or medical basis. He wrote that marijuana was less addictive than alcohol and poses no substantial danger to health, and that public authorities should stop trying to ban it. The LaGuardia Report obviously will be quoted in the battle we are about to witness between the current attorney general and the nine states where marijuana is legal.
The potent medical uses of marijuana, especially as a balm for patients in a terminal condition, also should be noted. People in hospice care often are given marijuana to smoke or imbibe, and care-givers sometimes find it difficult to locate the drug in states where marijuana has not yet been legalized.
Reasonable people may want to give careful, unbiased attention to a battle — namely, the federal government versus nine marijuana-permitting states — that is about to erupt. Meanwhile, the industry of marijuana tourism is strongly growing all over the country.