The multinational alcohol and tobacco industries are very powerful here in the United States and there are health-related risks oriented with these products. The cannabis industry’s health concerns poise uncertainty that is slowing down the reform efforts. Congress foresees the powerful and lucrative marijuana industry’s growth potential and politicians are weary about the legalization efforts, stressing the importance to develop a solid framework before its fully legalized in order to ensure the right safety precautions are met. There needs to be firm policy encompassing all of the public health concerns regarding cannabis and it must be addressed accordingly.
Underlying issues that are not regularly mentioned by marijuana advocates are the absence of tax laws that address national health costs as a result to cannabis legalization that would have to be covered by taxpayers and the loose marketing restrictions that allow target-marketing focused on underage children. These are very big parts of the puzzle and until politicians can put the bill together with strong public health laws we will continue to see slow efforts towards passing cannabis-related legislation.