The Cannabis 10th Man – What if Everyone is Wrong about a Recession Leading to Federal Cannabis Legalization

The Coronavirus Recession Will Boost Marijuana Legalization – What If the Experts are Wrong?

cannabis 10th man

The Cannabis 10th Man has to go against all logical thought and beliefs, so what would happen?

If you are not familiar with the zombie apocalypse movie with Brad Bitt called World War Z, you either haven’t watched all your quarantine movies like Contagion and 28 Days yet, or you are avoiding what the next virus could look like.  World War Z is a great movie with some intellectual plot twists that most zombie movies just don’t have or care to explore. One segment has Brad Pitt’s character asking how Israel, who put up walls and prepared for the zombies better than any other country, knew or thought to be ready for a zombie apocalypse anyway.  The guide tells the story of the “10th man”, and how after years of being surprised by attacks and travesty, Israel adopted the 10th man strategy.  The 10th man strategy basically says that if all 10 people in a room agree or concur on a subject, it is the duty of the 10th man to disagree, no matter how illogical or preposterous the opposite outcome would be, and work on a plan like that the “1 in a million long shot” was going to happen.

In the movie, Israel intercepted a short fax that had the word “zombie” in it, and while 9 people agreed it meant nothing, it was the duty of the 10th man to pretend that zombies were coming and to prepare.  In the movie, the 10th man turned out to right, and in the cannabis space the smartest people in the room are all saying they agree that the post coronavirus recession will boost the marijuana legalization movement forward, since jobs, taxes, and in-demand consumer goods will reign supreme.  The ironic part is that that if you believe that (which I do for the record) you have to root for a long and painful recession, if not depression, in order to up the chances for marijuana legalization to their highest level. The worst things get, the better marijuana jobs and sales tax will look to desperate politicians in Washington.

The Cannabis 10th Man

Although Cannabis.net was one of the first sites to bring up the fact that the coronavirus pandemic will initially hurt cannabis legalization, the following recession will greatly help in federal legalization.  Basically, anything that isn’t COVID-19 related or saving lives, gets pushed to the back-burner, including Trump impeachment, Justice department investigations into emails and sources, cannabis legalization, and anything else that isn’t “life or death”.  That is the bad news.  The good news is that cannabis demand has boomed during the quarantine and it could be a source of thousands of new jobs and tax revenue if the country falls into a deep recession, and any form of growth and jobs is “thrown against a well and see what sticks”.  With 39 states already with some form of legalized marijuana, it could be a quick move by the Federal government to remove cannabis from the CSA (Controlled Substance Act) and remove it from the DEA scheduling list.  This would remove Federal oversight of the plant and basically pass it to the States to handle their own marijuana policy. This would be a HUGE move for the cannabis industry as it would open up banking, investment funds, remove restrictions on mailing cannabis through the Post Office, and remove the DEA’s authority over plant transactions and the people involved in those transactions.  It would be a boon to the legal and illegal cannabis markets in North America. We previously looked at the possiblity of COVID-19 not so much leaglizing cannabis fully, but what if it forced the federal governemnt to allow cross-state lines shipping, since many States now consider it an “essential” medical supply.

Many companies and public figures have come around to the idea that the post COVID-19 recession could help legalize cannabis at the Federal level.  On our Weed Talk LIVE interview with former Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton, current Curaleaf CEO Joe Lusardi, and MJ BIZ DAILY CEO Chris Walsh, we learned all three would agree with the general theory of “bad right away, but good down the road” for cannabis and COVID19.  But what if they are wrong.

When all the smartest people say the same thing, let’s play the cannabis 10th man role and see if they could all be wrong.

One, Trump has to play to his Conservative base and not do the obvious thing to win some Liberal votes, like legalize weed at the Federal level. He realizes a few Liberal voters or undecides who see cannabis as an important issue won’t make or break his election chances, but losing the Christian Conservative-base could be deadly for him in November.  Hence, Trump pushes back and doesn’t budge on federal legalization and tells people the states have pretty much figured it all out already. 

Two, we hit a sharp v-shaped recovery where there is a painful but short recession/depression.  Job growth shows tranction and the country begins to open.  People are going back to work, restaurants start to open, people can go back to gyms and get on trains and buses, and we pull through without a depression like state.  No need to legalize marijuana at the Federal level and alienate Conservatives, the country is growing jobs and GDP without weed’s help, thank you.  Basically, things don’t get bad enough where weed jobs and tax revenue appeal to Washington.

Three, Joe Biden wins the presidency and has a plan laid out to get the country working again.  While he is a Democrat, he has a long history of being anti-drug, anti-weed, and harsh prison sentences for drug offenders.  His plan is called the 200-day plan and cannabis legalization is NOT included in his first 200 days and economic recovery plan.  While the left-wing of the Democratic party has tried to move Biden over to the legalization plan, he has not budged much, only going so far as to say it should be decriminalized, not legalized.  With Bernie Sanders dropping his bid to be the Democratic nominee, he said his meeting with Biden over issues that where important to him and his base did not include marijuana legalization, unfortunately.  This goes back to an earlier Cannabis.net article that brought up the point that state legalization is actually its own worst enemy for Federal legalization.  With 39 states supporting some form of cannabis, almost 85% of the US population can now get marijuana legally at the state level by jumping through a few hoops.  The black market has exploded in North America alongside legalization, so even if you didn’t want to go through the process of getting a medical marijuana card, there is amply black market supply and dealers to fulfill your cannabis orders.  Not to mention, Google trends show an explosion in queries around “how to grow weed”, “how to sell weed”, and “how to send marijuana”, as the recession could force many into trying to make up for lost income by selling marijuana.

While I agree that a long recession is the best bet to get cannabis legalized at the Federal level, as the appeal of thousands of jobs and new tax revenue will be just to much for Washington to resist, it is the job of the Cannabis 10th Man to disagree no matter how strong the evidence is to the contrary.

Thank You, World War Z.

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