Marijuana Reform Process in the United States:
As it currently stands in the U.S., 23 states have legalized medical marijuana and 4 states have also legalized marijuana for recreational use. It is very likely that several other states will seek to legalize recreational marijuana in 2016, and some will likely succeed. The momentum for marijuana reform continues to build and a recent Gallup poll showed that a record 58 percent of Americans support marijuana reform in the U.S. The business of legal marijuana is booming and has worked its way into a billion dollar industry already. Revenue will likely grow as more states go through the reform process.
As the reform process unfolds in the U.S., additional rules and regulations are unfolding as well. Many states seek to regulate marijuana in a fashion similar to alcohol. Regulating marijuana in the U.S. will replace an underground, dangerous marijuana marketplace with a licensed, state regulated system that sells tested and certified marijuana to adults. Millions of dollars in tax revenues will be collected as a result of the legal marijuana trade and some of this money will be used to enforce regulations that are put in place.
New Rules and Regulations Push Law Enforcement to Modify Approach:
As law enforcement agencies across the U.S. work to modify practice to accommodate new state laws, businesses have found additional opportunity to develop associated product. An Oakland company working in conjunction with the University of Florida at Berkley recently made headlines for developing a roadside breathalyzer that law enforcement can use to assess how much THC is in a person’s system. The company, Hound Labs Inc., said that the breathalyzer can function as an alcohol breathalyzer as well as a breathalyzer for THC. The device will be able to tell law enforcement if the driver is under the influence of either alcohol or marijuana.
One problem that companies have had while developing a breathalyzer for marijuana is that the amount of marijuana that adversely affects a person’s ability to drive is not exactly known. Additional research still must happen. Earlier in the year, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration said that not enough is known about how THC affects a person’s ability to drive. This is something that Hound Labs hopes to help resolve. The company expects to have a viable product available prior to the end of 2016. As more state pass marijuana reform, we are likely to see more products developed to support the reform process in the U.S.