The Roadmap for Cannabis Legalisation on the Global scene
In 2020, cannabis policies will overshadow global politics like never before. Plans to roll out legalisation ballot initiatives in 2020 have gone into full swing in places like Arizona, Ohio, and New Zealand. In many other places like New York and New Jersey, policy debates for legalisation should show results no later than 2020.
As more states are expected to legalise the adult use of cannabis, more revenue streams will be available for cannabis lobbyists to channel into championing the cause for full legalisation. Since the regulatory environment in 2020 will likely be less prohibitive to scientific research, more definitive evidence of the health benefits of the drug will be unearthed to further galvanise the position of pro-legalisation policymakers.
To further prime the global political landscape for marijuana policy initiatives in 2020, the imminent redesignation of cannabis by the United Nations is set to send ripples across the drug policy frameworks of various member nations. The emergence of an unprecedented number of U.S presidential hopefuls who support legalisation is another major factor that will help push cannabis reforms.
However, since research is still in the early stages to support or contradict many of the points raised against cannabis use, it’s not clear how the interplay between all these variables will pan out.
Three Major Events that will Give Cannabis Legalisation Traction in the Global Political Scene in 2020
Pot is set to dominate policy debate in the run-off to the 2020 presidential elections in the US. Source
The 2020 U.S presidential race:
Policy around marijuana use is bound to be a central topic as the debate heats up in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election. A handful of the Democrat presidential hopefuls have cannabis legalisation firmly at the heart of their campaign promises. President Trump is also likely to compete for the support of pro-legalisation lobbyists with the other candidates.
Vivien Azer, the managing director of Cowen, the first investment bank to bet big on cannabis, foresees that President Trump will most likely give in to pro-legalisation lobbyists as the elections draw closer. “We do not rule out Trump making a move on cannabis, but that would be more of a 2020 event moving toward the election. It might be politically advantageous for him to co-opt the issue from Democrats and be the hero” she said.
The referendum in New Zealand:
New Zealanders will turn to the ballots to determine the future of recreational cannabis in their country. The referendum is part of the agreement reached during the formation of the country’s current coalition government. Already, medical cannabis has been legalised, and opinion polls show that nearly two-third of New Zealanders favor some form of further legalisation. If the referendum favors legalisation, then New Zealand will likely become the first country to do so in the region.
"We know when it will be, we have a commitment that it will be binding, and now it is just a question on filling in the detail from there," said Justice Minister Andrew Little, concerning the country’s cabinet’s plans for the referendum.
The redesignation of cannabis by the UN:
The descheduling of cannabis by the United Nations will compel many member states to follow suit in their national drug use frameworks. Source
The World Health Organization will endorse the redesignation of cannabis by the UN by 2020 at the latest. Countries keenly considering legalisation will no longer have to fear violating international drug treaties. Also, in countries that rely heavily on the WHO for drug policy cues, rapid reforms will be inspired on the national level. Also, other international bodies like the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) will most likely follow suit to provide countries with less-prohibitive cannabis control guidelines.
The legalisation of cannabis products, both for recreational and medicinal uses, is an issue of global importance that will take centre stage in the coming years. While each region will need to determine how and when they approach the issue of cannabis use, the moves on an international level by major world powers put the topic in the spotlight, and mean 2020 is likely to see cannabis use at the forefront of politics and debate.