Each year that passes ends up surprising me in different ways. I have lived through the legalization of gay marriage, the rise and fall of Osama bin Laden, the election of Donald Trump, and countless other exciting events. For 2018, I feel like one of the next major happenings will involve marijuana.
This past week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his plans to disregard the Cole Memo (a piece of legislature that is helping protect states with legalized marijuana). The actions of Jeff Sessions aren't really shocking. He has been outspoken about his disdain for the devil's lettuce. What is going to be surprising is the way this could potentially sway America in 2018.
Keeping the fallout of Prohibition in mind, one can safely say that Americans don't take kindly to being denied things that have once been legal. Currently, over half of the states, and Washington D.C., have some form of legalized marijuana. Marijuana has typically been considered more acceptable on the left side of the political spectrum, but a recent poll has even shown that a majority of right-leaning people believe pot should be legal.
Basically, weed has favorability on both sides, yet doesn't get as much coverage as other social issues like abortion or gay rights.
Everything I mentioned above leaves marijuana as a perfect political bargaining chip for 2018. The fact that neither political party has been more vehement about legalization is absurd. Imagine how popular Trump would be if he passed the legalization of marijuana the same way Obama passed the legalization of gay marriage.
Imagine how many young conservative voters might sway towards the left if Democrats were able to pass a bill legalizing weed.
The potential for either side to add voters to their base through marijuana is exponential.
Granted, there are some Americans who still have their qualms about weed, and they aren't all entirely irrational. Marijuana has the potential to make you lazy, unmotivated, or just content with being bored. But, if you look at the fact sheet published by the DEA, there has never been a death caused solely by ingesting marijuana.
Compare that to the 100,000 yearly deaths caused by alcohol, and it's easy to see which one should be illegal and which one should be legal.
It might sound inappropriate, but a big reason why we are only now seeing major steps with legalization is that the voting base that was brainwashed with anti-pot propaganda is starting to die. The kids that were forced to watch "Reefer Madness" in the late 30's are grown or gone by this point.
Again, I'm not saying that weed doesn't have the potential to make you poor and stupid, but the false information and brainwashing people have received about marijuana is almost fully gone now that we're in 2018.
I predict that by the time 2019 rolls around, marijuana will have had an intense impact on America.
If Jeff Sessions gets his way, I predict that the majority of American smokers will revolt (if they can get off the couch), leading to congress having to step in and pass a bill legalizing it. Or, Republicans will make the smart choice to revolt against Jeff Sessions (which some already have), leading Republicans to be the ones who will ultimately legalize it. Either way, I can almost guarantee that 2018 will be "the year of weed".