Written By Bob Hoban

The economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred interest in an otherwise seldom discussed subject matter – the federal legalization of marijuana. Just as necessity is the mother of invention, economic recovery seems to be the push for vice industries to go mainstream. A comparison has been drawn between our present circumstance and the ending of the prohibition era as a result of the Great Depression. Ultimately, ending prohibition was seen as a strategy intended to stimulate economic recovery. The question is, will federal policymakers, or a potential presidential candidate, take a play from FDR’s playbook by legalizing marijuana?

While the prospect of federal marijuana legalization is no doubt something that folks across the industry celebrate, it’s necessary to examine potential unintended consequences. While it may come as a surprise, federal legalization could actually disrupt progress, particularly for states that have led the charge, like Colorado.

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