America likes to be first. To the moon. In Olympic medals. In the number of Kardashians. And, most vocally, freedom. Yet sniffly, socialist Canada just beat America in one measure of liberty: cannabis is legal up north as of … right now, eh?
Cue the band to play "Oh Canada!" Open the borders. Raze the hockey rinks and plant hemp.
Uruguay and Colombia also legalized weed already, but losing to South American countries doesn't sting the same.
America is still likely to finish in the top ten in legalization, though. The smart money says we'll go there sometime just before or after the next Olympiad in 2020.
Five reasons why:
Public opinion on cannabis.
More than 60 percent of Americans want legal weed. That's double what it was in 2000. No party will stand against three-fifths of the public for long without risking pitchforks and guillotines.
Many political observers — including this reporter — were terrified Trump's administration would crack down on weed. And while Jeff Sessions did a few head fakes toward a Drug War full-court press, he backed off. After the midterms, Trump's set to tell his Keebler Elf AG: "You're fired." Which leaves it all up to Trump. And Trump ain't a Drug Warrior. Back in 1990, he said "You have to legalize drugs to win that (drug) war." Trump is practical: he doesn't drink and yet he had a line of luxe vodkas and wines. He doesn't smoke weed, so he'll probably sign a marijuana legalization bill just before bringing out Trump-branded joints and bubblers.
If the GOP doesn't legalize it, the Dems will. Dems hug on weed. And they're not long out of power. Polls, pundits, the slate of senators on the ballot, history and my Magic Eight Ball put Dems as favorites to control the House, Senate and Presidency after the 2020 elections. They could be wrong: pundits tend to have both thumbs up their asses, which is why cable TV only films them from the chest up. But if the pundits are right, then two seconds after the new president's swearing-in, weed will grow like weeds. After all, the Democrats' official platform changed in 2016 to call for pot's removal from Schedule 1. And Democratic hopefuls for President — Warren, Sanders, Booker, Gillibrand, Harris and Hickenlooper — are so pro-legalization they're practically wearing Rasta colors.
Canada and Colombia are first to market with cannabis export, eating up dollars and investments. Pot stocks — all Canadian — are through the greenhouse roof. America can still catch up — but every year we spot Canada costs us billions. We didn't become the richest country in the history of the world by leaving money on the table.
On November 6, four states vote on cannabis: Michigan and North Dakota on adult-use; Utah and Missouri on medical. If those pass, and they're expected to, 33 states will have some form of legal weed, and it'll be harder for the feds to pretend marijuana is just for hippie libertarian states like Colorado and Oregon. Even Oklahoma has weed now, and Oklahoma's state flag is just a Ford F-350 with a gun rack and truck nuts.
So get ready to suck it, Canada. Guard your frozen tits. America is close to weed from sea to sea to sea: yeah, that's right, three seas. We got more oceans than you, too.