Should Joe Biden Support Marijuana Legalization?

Market Realist [April 10, 2020]

Marijuana is gaining a lot of attention amid the coronavirus pandemic. The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 globally has caused a lot of anxiety and chaos. Marijuana is known to help people deal with chronic stress and anxiety. As a result, the demand continues to rise as more lockdowns are announced in various US cities and states. Medical cannabis patients want to stock up on marijuana since they don’t know when the pandemic will end. Also, the presidential election is approaching. Looking at the current situation, many people think that Joe Biden should support marijuana legalization.

Joe Biden’s stance on marijuana legalization

We don’t know when the pandemic will end or how it will impact the US and global economy. Eventually, things will return to normal. The presidential election will take place in 2020. According to The New York Times, 27 Democrats and three Republicans have dropped out of the presidential race. Currently, Joe Biden is the only presumptive nominee for president in the 2020 election. Most Democratic candidates supported marijuana legalization. Among the Democrats, Joe Biden is the only one who opposes full-scale legalization.

Marijuana Moment article discussed that a group of youth political activists sent a letter to Joe Biden to discuss his stance on marijuana legalization. The group wants to convince Biden to support legalization in order to attract young voters. The letter sent by the group said, “End the War on Drugs and support the equitable legalization of marijuana.”

The article said that the group consisted of Justice Democrats, Sunrise Movement, and the IfNotNow Movement. A few other groups like the Alliance for Youth Action, March for Our Lives Action Fund, NextGen America, Student Action, and United We Dream Action also signed the letter.

Biden is up against President Trump. So far, President Trump hasn’t discussed marijuana legalization. However, some of the decisions he has made indicate that he doesn’t support legalization. In December 2019, President Trump challenged Congress’ protection laws for medical marijuana. He could ignore the law and allow federal interference. The decision shows his resistance to marijuana legalization.

I agree with the youth political activist groups’ initiative. Previously, I discussed how President Trump could attract young voters by supporting legalization. Biden would likely benefit from supporting marijuana legalization. Notably, he supports decriminalization and medical cannabis. However, Biden doesn’t think that there’s enough evidence to support full-scale legalization.

According to a Washington Post and ABC News poll, many people think that Biden would be a good president. The demand for marijuana is evident looking at the sudden surge in sales. A Gallup poll showed that 66% of Americans want marijuana legalization.

Demand for cannabis is high amid coronavirus outbreak

Cory Booker, a former Democratic presidential candidate, thinks that medical cannabis should be prioritized amid the coronavirus outbreak. Booker has always supported marijuana legalization. Earlier, he criticized Joe Biden’s stance on legalization. Cannabis legalization will certainly benefit marijuana companies in the US. The companies have struggled with a cash crunch. Now, with the COVID-19 outbreak, federal law prohibits marijuana businesses from getting access to emergency business relief. Getting financial help has always been a concern for cannabis businesses.

After having a rough start in 2020, marijuana stocks are finally seeing some light even in these distressing times. Cannabis stocks are doing well this month. KushCo reported its second-quarter results on April 8. Aphria (NYSE:APHA) will likely report its third-quarter results soon. Meanwhile, Hexo raised additional capital to come out of the cash crunch. On Thursday, Aphria gained 0.31%, while Hexo fell by 2.01%. Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB), Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON), OrganiGram (NASDAQ:OGI), and Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) rose by 2.8%, 4.6%, 0.55%, and 2.8%, on Thursday.

Sushree Mohanty

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