One in Five Americans Live Where Marijuana is Legal


While the political establishment has been rocked by Michael Moore’s accurate prognostication of a “Rust Belt Brexit”, some are acknowledging the “quirky footnote” that 8 of the 9 states voting on marijuana reforms passed their initiatives.

They are understating the magnitude of the wins.

There are now eight states in which the personal adult possession and use of marijuana is legal. They comprise over 20 percent of the US population and Electoral Votes. In other words, one in five Americans live where all marijuana use is legal.

There are now twenty-eight states in which the personal adult use of marijuana for medical purposes is protected from law enforcement. They comprise over 60 percent of the US population and Electoral votes. In other words, three in five Americans live where medical marijuana use is legal.

There are now only six states in which absolutely no form of marijuana is legal for anybody under any circumstances. They comprise less than 5 percent of the US population and under 7 percent of Electoral Votes. In other words, only one in twenty Americans live under absolute marijuana prohibition.

Even in the Arizona loss for Proposition 205, marijuana reform performed better in the election than President-Elect Trump and Secretary Clinton did.

  • Trump: 47.5%
  • Hillary: 47.7%
  • AZ Prop 205: 47.8%
  • ME Question 1: 50.2%
  • AR Issue 6: 53.2%
  • MA Question 4: 53.6%
  • NV Question 2: 54.5%
  • CA Prop 64: 55.8%
  • MT Initiative 182: 61.8%
  • ND Measure 5: 63.7%
  • FL Amendment 2: 71.3%

People have asked me what I think the Trump Administration will do about legal marijuana. He might appoint an Attorney General Chris Christie. His Department of Justice could take the commercial operations in the legal states to federal court, get injunctions, shut them all down backed by DEA. Trump’s heads of FinCEN, FDIC, IRS, FDA, DEA, ONDCP could make a lot of noise about it and institute awful regulations and turn back Cole Memo, Wilkinson Memo, and all the hands-off treatment of the emerging legal industry.

But they couldn’t do a thing to force states to punish people for personal possession and cultivation. They could send in DEA to bust individuals for these small amounts, but the feds generally won’t touch these cases.

However, I don’t think Trump will go that direction. He’s not exactly a moralist Puritan. He’s all about business and making money. There’s no upside for him in being the culture warrior on this overwhelmingly popular issue. I think he’ll just play the states’ rights card that the Deplorables will increasingly scream for in other political issues like voting rights, gay marriage, abortion, and the like.

But we shall see.

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