It is a new year, and that means a new crop of federal, state and local laws go into effect. Some of those laws are the restrictive sort that prohibit specific behaviors or that levy fines for a given offense. Others are laws of permission, i.e., the removal of previous restrictions on human actions now deemed permissible by the legal system.
In my home state of California, one of the most prominent new state laws of permission is the legalization of whatâ??s known as â??adult marijuana use.â?ť
On New Yearâ??s Day, I woke up to news reports in the greater Los Angeles area featuring excited citizens eager to exercise their newfound freedom to legally purchase up to an ounce of marijuana and/or related cannabis products.
Now, as you might expect, there were huge lines outside the now-legal dispensaries that were literally wrapped around the buildings.
As you likely know, legal recreational use of marijuana has been gaining a foothold throughout the country. Moreover, medical use of marijuana and cannabis-related products also has become legally permissible throughout much of the country.
Californiaâ??s legalization of adult marijuana use makes it the eighth state to do so. Later this year, both Massachusetts and Maine are expected to make the legal leap into adult usage. Currently, there are 29 states, plus the District of Columbia, that have laws that at a minimum legalize cannabis for medical purposes.
I view this legalization trend as an extremely positive development, and you donâ??t have to be a marijuana smoker or a cannabis user to think so.
I am not a cannabis user but, in my view, the legalization of a product that people have used for thousands of years, both as a medicinal aid and a tool to alter mental states, is part of a trend I call the â??unstoppable freedom wave.â?ť
This is a trend that animates the American spirit, and that no matter how oppressed and/or self-modulated,it cannot be suppressed for too long.
This freedom always breaks into the clear, sometimes despite itself. Itâ??s a freedom for individuals to think about what they want, say what they want, wear what they want, live how they want, marry who they wantâ?¦ and ingest the substances they want, without the heavy hand of government interference.
This unstoppable freedom wave broke out after the disaster of prohibition (where teetotalers persuaded the government to restrict Americans from choosing to drink alcohol). The marijuana issue is no different, save for marijuana actually being aÂ far less destructive drug than alcohol, both physically and socially.
According to recentÂ surveys conducted by Gallup, more Americans favor legalizing marijuana than at any other point since Gallup began asking Americans about their views in 1969. Back then, only 12% of Americans favored legalizing cannabis. Today, 64% of the country is in favor of it. This is proof that most Americans want the freedom to put marijuana in the public market.
Now, from an investment standpoint, we can leverage this unstoppable freedom wave by investing in the best companies in the medical and legal marijuana industry. There are many ways to do this, and I am in the process of researching many of these companies for potential allocation in myÂ Successful InvestingÂ andÂ Intelligence ReportÂ investment newsletters.
In fact, just this week in myÂ Fast Money AlertÂ service, my partner, Dr. Mark Skousen, and I recommended a stock benefitting from the boom in medical and legal marijuana use.
Given the freedom wave thatâ??s embraced legal cannabis use, thereâ??s a whole lot of growth to go in the future. But just how big is the cannabis industry?
According to a report fromÂ ArcView Market Research, the total economic output from legal cannabis will grow 150% from $16 billion in 2017 to $40 billion by 2021. Moreover, ArcView thinks that U.S. consumer spending on legal cannabis in 2021 of $20.8 billion will generate $39.6 billion in overall economic impact, 414,000 jobs and more than $4 billion in tax receipts.
Thatâ??s a lot of cannabis cash, and a lot of profits for investors who embrace this unstoppable freedom wave.
P.S.Â Want the latest exchange-traded fund (ETF) and stock recommendations backed up by a 40-plus-year plan thatâ??s helped investors maximize gains and protect against pernicious downturns in the market? Then I invite you to check outÂ Successful InvestingÂ today!
Wisdom from a Blackstone
â??The public good is in nothing more essentially interested, than in the protection of every individualâ??s private rights.â?ť
— William Blackstone,Â Commentaries on the Laws of England
In 2018, I am hoping we continue to see an increase in freedom, both personal and economic, and even greater protection of individual rights. And, if you want to create your own vision of economic freedom, then you need to make good decisions with your money — and thatâ??s what weâ??re here to help you with.
Wisdom about money, investing and life can be found anywhere. If you have a good quote youâ??d like me to share with your fellow readers, send it to me, along with any comments, questions and suggestions you have about my audio podcast, newsletters, seminars or anything else.Â Click hereÂ to ask Jim.
In case you missed it, I encourage you to read my e-letter article from last week, whichÂ featured my best articles of 2017.