We’re in a major election year here in the United States, perhaps the most interesting in recent memory, and not just because of the presidential race. In November 2016, up to eight states will be voting on the legalization of recreational marijuana use: California, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, Vermont, Ohio, Michigan, and Arizona.
If all eight of those states legalized, they would join Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska making a total of 12 states where people over 21 are allowed by their state government to smoke marijuana.
Even if California is the only state that ends up passing it this year, that’s still a huge market. And we all know that marijuana ballot initiatives are not going away. These referendums will come back to the states where they do not initially pass and they will start popping up in other states as well.
The legal marijuana industry is licking its chops right now. Got a few spare dollars to invest? The legal marijuana industry has a great long term outlook .
Big Tobacco as a Case Study for Big Marijuana
Right now the legal marijuana industry is fairly small compared to its potential. Further legalization is definitely going to be a game changer. As the pot industry expands, the way it markets its product will evolve.
How much will “Big Marijuana” follow the same narrative as “Big Tobacco” in promoting and defending its product? That remains to be seen. There will be some similarities and some differences. One of the key things to observe will be how “Big Marijuana” addresses the addictive aspect of marijuana for some users.
Here’s how “Big Tobacco” addressed the issue of nicotine addiction as recently as 1994:
So nicotine is not addictive. Alrighty then.
It’s not too much a stretch of the imagination that a similar scene as above will play out in the future with a panel of Big Marijuana executives. Will they do as the tobacco executives did and declare one by one that “marijuana is not addictive”? It’s going to be interesting to see how it all plays out.
You can use research to prove anything you want to believe and propagate. This worked very well for the tobacco industry for decades until the evidence that proved nicotine addiction became so overwhelming that they could no longer cite their “studies” that suggested otherwise.
Now the issue is not so much the addiction itself but the physical and mental health problems that can be directly traced back to the addiction. We’re all pretty well educated by now as to the health ramifications of a nicotine addiction.
Big Marijuana in the Addiction Debate
As is stands right now, there’s conflicting evidence about marijuana addiction. For every report that states marijuana is not addictive there’s another report that suggests otherwise.
Which reports do you think Big Marijuana will use to defend their product? Like Big Tobacco, they could very well produce their own research where the conclusion comes before the hypothesis.
It’s going to take years for the medical/scientific community to arrive at a definite consensus over just how addictive marijuana is or isn’t just as it took years for them to finally shut up those idiotic tobacco executives.
Meanwhile, people across the globe decide to quit their marijuana habit because they recognize the negative impact it has on their lives. Many, indeed most, are able to put it down without much of a struggle but others are not so lucky.
One of the most respected and widely cited studies show that 9% of regular users (or 2.5 million people in just the United States) experience cannabis use disorder (source). Nonetheless, some representative from the marijuana lobby will be on CNN or Fox news tonight saying that marijuana is not addictive.
The point is, the next time your best friend, Aunt Sally, or Big Marijuana tries to tell you that marijuana is not addictive at all for anyone, just remember it wasn’t that long ago that nicotine wasn’t addictive either.
Do you need help with marijuana addiction? Check out our resources.