"Before legalization, money from cannabis sales flowed through an underground market that endangered public safety and disrupted communities. But now, we see all across the country that revenue from the legal cannabis industry is supporting schools, health care, and a range of other beneficial public programs. It’s no wonder that residents in legalization states overwhelmingly see legalization as a success," said Jared Moffat, MPP's state campaigns manager.
A new report from the Marijuana Policy Project, a pro-legalization group, estimates that states have collected a total of $7.9 billion in tax revenue since the first states — Washington and Colorado — began allowing recreational pot sales in 2014.
"The anti-ballot initiative assault we’re seeing across the country right now is a reaction to not only cannabis reform, but also minimum wage efforts, Medicaid expansion, and other progressive issues these legislators don’t like," said Matthew Schweich, MPP's deputy director.
"Legalizing cannabis for adults has proven to be a wise investment. Not only are states seeing the benefits of a regulated market and far fewer cannabis-related arrests—they're benefitting in a direct, economic way, too," said Jared Moffat, MPP's state campaigns manager.
"Polls consistently show the vast majority of Americans support allowing seriously ill patients to use cannabis for medical purposes with their doctors’ approval, and Alabama serves as the latest evidence that medical cannabis is possible in any state in the country," said Steve Hawkins, MPP's executive director.
"Governor Edwards is by no means the first elected official to change their tune on legalization and he certainly won't be the last. Although he hasn't gone as far as endorsing legalization, it's clear that he understands the reality of the situation on the ground," said Violet Cavendish, MPP's communications manager.
"The victory in Alabama shows elected officials nationwide are finally getting the message that allowing medical cannabis has overwhelming, bipartisan public support," said Steve Hawkins, MPP's executive director.
"This is a major step forward for Alabamians. Rather than being subjected to arrest and criminal penalties for using medical cannabis, this new law will enable patients who are suffering from illnesses and medical conditions to safely use and access medical cannabis, a treatment option that is accessible to so many of their fellow Americans," said Karen O'Keefe, MPP's director of state policies.
"Today is a cruel and tragic day for sick and suffering people in Mississippi. As a result, tens of thousands of Mississippians with debilitating health conditions will be denied safe, legal access to something that can alleviate their pain and improve their quality of life," said Matthew Schweich, MPP's deputy director.
"The legislature must take action to fix the ballot initiative requirements and honor the will of their constituents by enacting Amendment 65 into law through the legislative process," said Matthew Schweich, MPP's deputy director.