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Cannabis Legalization

The Different Impacts of Marijuana Legalization

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The Different Impacts of Marijuana Legalization

Many groups across the world have been discussing the legalization of marijuana, with a focus on the health effects of the plant. However, it is important to remember that legalizing it can have different impacts, aside from making it an available option for medicine and recreation. It has implications on science and technology, as well as the society and the environment.

To know more about the various effects of marijuana legalization, read on!

The Impact of Marijuana in Medicine, Science, and Technology

Let’s start with something more apparent. With the medicinal properties of the plant, marijuana has been making an impact on these areas. Here’s what we know so far:

The State of Medical Legalization

Marijuana is completely legal in a few parts of the world, namely Canada, Uruguay and some parts of Europe and the United States. The non-medical use of the plant has been decriminalized in these places. Meanwhile, Thailand has been implementing medical marijuana laws since the beginning of 2019.

In the US, more than 11 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational use, while more than 30 states allow medical use. Meanwhile, the plant remains in the list of Schedule I substances, making it federally illegal. For some, the illegal status of the herb makes it more difficult for various researchers to conduct further studies about what the plant has to offer.

Federal Legalization Can Help in Cannabis Research Progress

Because of the restrictions posed by the lack of federal laws legalizing the plant, many advocates are pushing for the Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2019. This bill will decrease the hurdles faced by would-be researchers, making such studies regulated and legitimate.

According to The Hill, the proposed act makes obtaining the right licenses for research easier and more accessible. If you are worried about the implementation of rightful limitations to these studies, this law is expected to maintain safety measures that prevent misapplication and abuse of licenses.

An anticipated effect of the potential growth in marijuana research is that it can increase the quality and quantity of medical cannabis supply in the country.

The best thing about this proposal is that the bill will create a body of research on the plant. If this law gets passed, the US Department of Health and Human Services will issue a report discussing the status and results of the studies.

Cannabis as an Energy Crop

With the mounting concern about climate change, bioenergy is taking the forefront of energy research. The herb is becoming a point of interest for these types of development. According to experts, hemp (scientific name: Cannabis sativa L.) is potentially a great energy crop, which can replace currently used biofuel crops.

According to reports, crops that are currently used to extract biofuel is are actually bad for the environment. They disrupt biodiversity, require too much water in light of water crises in many parts of the world, displacing people and generate bad emissions.

On the other hand, hemp is a high-yielding crop that has a less environmental impact, which makes it a great alternative. Moreover, this can help in the production of CBD oil which is essential for the legalization and supply of medical marijuana. With the recently passed Farm Bill, this may be possible!

Social Impact of Cannabis

Aside from the medical, scientific and technological effects of marijuana legalization, the plant can also contribute to various social developments. Take a look at some aspects of the society that marijuana has affected.

The Racial Implications of Marijuana Prohibition

One of the most important things you should know about marijuana prohibition in the US is that it is closely related to racism. Before the great influx of Mexican immigrants in the 1900s, the plant was not prohibited. There was no federal law in place outlawing the herb. Come the 1900s, Mexican immigrants fled the grave political climate in their home country, leading them to go to the US.

After propaganda against “marihuana” was released in 1936, the Marihuana Tax Act sponsored by Harry Anslinger was passed in 1937. Anslinger claimed that cannabis was a “violence-inducing drug” connected to ethnic minorities, specifically black and Hispanic people.

Purging of Minor Offenses

Aside from the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, the Boggs Act was also passed in 1952, criminalized the possession and use of the plant. In fact, you can get jailed for two to five years and fined for $2,000 if you are caught with cannabis on your person. Combined with the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, which made the plant a Schedule I substance, the penalty for minor offenses became graver.

With the current developments in marijuana-related laws, some states are now allowing residents with minor cannabis infractions to appeal for the removal of such offenses from their records. Illinois, Michigan, and California are taking initiatives to make such expungements possible. This is good news for residents with minor cannabis-related violations as it can expand their employment opportunities.

Other states with such programs include Colorado, Maryland, New Hampshire and Oregon.

More Open Mainstream Perception

The media plays a huge role in shaping public perception, just like what happened with the anti-marihuana propaganda in 1936. As the media portrayed the plant in a negative light, the public tended to view cannabis negatively, as well. With the more positive exposure of the plant in various media platforms today, many individuals are now seeing the herb differently.

Various television shows, documentaries, podcasts, and social media content are shedding light on the benefits and cautions pertaining to marijuana use. With discussions about legalization showing up on many media platforms, more and more viewers are warming up to the idea of legal recreational and medical cannabis.

Increased Influence on Cultural and Intellectual Production

As mentioned, the warmer acceptance of the plant from media producers is contributing to the gradual open-mindedness of media content consumers. However, marijuana as inspiration for cultural and intellectual production is not a new practice. In fact, the plant has been used by various artists across human history.

From our ancestors to William Shakespeare to various legendary musicians from the 60s and 70s up to the artists today, the herb has been contributing to cultural and intellectual production for millennia. So, artists and thinkers from the height of cannabis prohibition are able to produce masterpieces with the aid of the herb, you can bet that legalization can increase the rate of marijuana-inspired production.

Legal Recreational Cannabis Increased Safer Use

If there’s one thing cannabis enthusiasts advocate, it is for the safe and responsible consumption of the plant. This includes consuming the herb only when you are of legal age. Well, legalization for recreational purposes just may facilitate responsible use among teens. According to CNN, states with recreational cannabis laws saw a decline in the number of teenagers using the herb.

Moreover, the legalizing it makes high-quality, certified and safe cannabis products available for consumers. With legitimate dispensaries, you can uphold a more responsible use of the plant with the help of highly knowledgeable budtenders. Legalization can also make cannabis-related informational resources available to individuals who want to know more.

Environmental Impact of Cannabis

As an energy crop, hemp is a great alternative to conventional crops planted for biofuel. However, there are parties who express concerns about the effect of expansive legalization of the plant. Check out some of them.

Exo-Related Concerns

  • Water Supply

According to JSTOR Daily, cannabis is a “water-hungry crop,” requiring 22 liters of water per crop. This is just during the growing season. Some studies show that during low flow periods, these crops can even require water more than a flowing river can offer. So, hemp may be less water-hungry than traditional energy crops, but the fact remains that it requires a lot of water to grow.

  • Wildlife Habitats

Another concern is that the large demand for the plant requires more land area than available. Some critics say that some companies might clear our forests to make way for crops. Moreover, the use of rodenticides and other toxic substances to protect the crops lead to the killing of various wildlife.

  • Pollution

Because the crops need copious amounts of water, expansive cultivation can lead to the drying up of bodies of water. There are also concerns about huge emissions from cultivation facilities, making the industry a contributor to air pollution.

Regulation Follows Legalization

Now, it must be remembered that industrial cultivation is only allowed in some states, which means that these territories have laws pertaining to marijuana growing. However, federal legalization can help demarcate limitations to facilitate the responsible and non-abusive cultivate of these plants. With proper regulations in place, the government will be able to outline standards that can make growing the plant safer and more efficient, with minimized negative ecological effects.

Now that you know how legalization can impact various areas such as medicine, science, and technology, as well as the society and environment, you can responsible form your stand regarding marijuana legalization. After all, nothing beats a cannabis advocate who is aware of the advantages and disadvantages of their advocacy.

 

Cannabis Legalization

5 Ways to Support the Marijuana Legalization Movement

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Marijuana Legalization

The current state of cannabis legalization in the USA is a two-sided coin. On one side, 37 states have legalized medical marijuana, and on the other hand, 18 states where recreational use is legal. The fluctuation between these two numbers can be attributed to our country’s history with cannabis and their varying views on what should happen going forward. A recent report from CBS News found that 61% of Americans now favor legalization, up from 31% back in 2000. With public opinion shifting on this issue by leaps and bounds every year, there’s never been a better time than now to make your voice heard if you want to see an end to prohibition. 

As a cannabis enthusiast, you may be wondering how you can help the country push for 100% legalization (at least medically). We’ve prepared 5 ways you can actively support the legalization movement and get the country to a place where the fears and myths about this healing plant are trending in the right direction, which is legalization. 

1. Educate yourself about the benefits of marijuana

Marijuana is a plant that grows naturally in many regions of the world. It has been used for thousands of years as an herbal remedy and was first documented by ancient Chinese doctors as early as 2737 BC. The medicinal benefits of marijuana are now becoming more well known because it is now legal to use it medicinally in many states. Marijuana helps treat chronic pain, nausea, muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis or paraplegia (paralysis), seizures due to epilepsy, weight loss from HIV/AIDS or cancer treatment, PTSD symptoms, including flashbacks and nightmares related to trauma experienced during the military.

2. Let your voice be heard by contacting your representatives and letting them know how you feel

So you’re ready to do your civic duty and contact a representative about legalization? Great! Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your experience. 

Canberra Legalizes Cannabis
  • Find what issues matter most to you in this area of legislation, such as medical use or recreational use. Figure out which representatives cover these areas, then find their contact information and phone numbers.   
  • Call them up on the phone! Most importantly, be polite when speaking with them so they can understand where you’re coming from. It’s also important not to interrupt them while they are talking because it might make them feel like you don’t respect their opinion or time. 

3. Support local businesses that sell cannabis products

Cannabis products are now available in many stores and online. As cannabis becomes legalized, it is essential to support the communities that have been impacted by prohibition. One way you can do this is by supporting your local businesses that sell cannabis products. Another way is by raising awareness by wearing Legalize Marijuana Apparel to show your support!

4. Share articles on social media to raise awareness

Do you want to help legalize cannabis right now? If so, share articles like this one on social media! 

The reality is that cannabis prohibition has failed miserably to prevent the use of marijuana in society. Prohibition leads to a black market where consumers don’t know what they’re buying or who’s selling it, which causes serious health risks. Cannabis legalization will create jobs and generate revenue for states with legalized recreational marijuana while simultaneously reducing criminal activity associated with illegal drug distribution. These reasons are more than enough to warrant sharing posts like this on social media.

5. Vote for candidates who support marijuana legalization in the 2020 election 

America’s opioid epidemic is killing tens of thousands of people a year, and we are still struggling with the legalization of marijuana. It seems that the country has come to accept that medicinal marijuana can be a valuable treatment for specific conditions such as chronic pain or epilepsy. Still, there is a lot of confusion about whether it should be legal recreationally. The availability of medical cannabis could help reduce our dependence on these dangerous drugs. So do your civic duty and vote for candidates you align with and ones that support the legalization of cannabis. 

Conclusion

The movement to legalize marijuana is gaining momentum across the United States. More and more states are considering legalizing the recreational or medical use of cannabis, so we all need to support this change in the law to make a difference. We hope you take these 5 ways and create the change we wish to see in the world today!

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Cannabis Legalization

When Will Weed be Legal in Florida?

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When Will Weed be Legal in Florida

As of June 2021, 17 states in the United States have fully legalized the use of cannabis, including the District of Columbia. The rest, except four in which cannabis is fully illegal, have either decriminalized the plant, legalized medical cannabis, or a combination of both.

Florida is one of the states that has a mixed stand on the plant. It is legal for medicinal uses, but it is not yet decriminalized state-wide. So, for Floridians, the question is this: when will marijuana be legal in the state? Let us shed some light on this matter below.

The Current Status of Cannabis in Florida

When Will Weed be Legal in Florida

Today, only medical marijuana including medical cannabidiol (CBD) is legal in Florida. There are penalties and punishments in place for marijuana possession and sale offenders. People found with the plant can be charged with misdemeanor or felony, jail time of 1 year to 15 years, and a fine of $1,000 to $10,000 depending on the scale.

Those who are caught selling can also be penalized, incarcerated, and fined within the same range. Again, the intensity of the punishment will depend on how much weed or plant is found, and whether they are within 1,000 feet of a school, college, park, and other particular areas.

The good news is, some counties across the state have locally decriminalized the plant, the oldest being Miami-Dade County which passed the decriminalization law in June 2015 through a city council resolution. No criminal charges will be given to offenders found carrying 20 grams of cannabis. Instead, they will be given a fine of $100.

Other counties that passed similar laws include Alachua, Broward, Cocoa Beach, Hallandale Beach, Key West, Miami Beach, Orlando, Palm Beach, Port Richey, Sarasota, Tampa, Volusia, and West Palm Beach. All of them have a limit of 20 grams and penalizes offenders either through a $100 fine, cite and release, or 10 hours of community service.

Latest Attempts at Legalization

When Will Weed be Legal in FL

So When Will Weed be Legal in Florida?

Floridian advocates of legalization have campaigned for a ballot initiative for the 2022 elections through the Florida Marijuana Legalization Initiative. The proposal, sponsored by sensible Florida, Inc., sought to legalize the possession of up to one ounce of weed for residents aged 21 years and above. It also suggested to let residents own up to six plants, with only a maximum of three plants flowering or mature per household.

Ultimately, the ballot initiative sought to amend existing laws and regulate marijuana including the issuing, renewal, suspension, and revocation of licenses for cultivation, production, testing, and retail. If this initiative has been successfully added to the 2022 ballot, residents would be able to vote to legalize possession.

Unfortunately, the Florida Supreme Court voted 5-2 against the initiative. According to Chief Justice Charles Canady, the language used to write the proposal was misleading.

So, When Will Weed be Legal in Florida?

As mentioned, the latest attempts to legalize the possession of the plant in Florida failed. Keep in mind that this is only talking about the legalization of possession and not the full legalization of the plant. With this, it may take a few more years before Floridians can access legal weed in the state.

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Cannabis Legalization

Is Weed Legal in DC 2021?

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People often go to Google or ask Alexa for “weed delivery near me” in DC without knowing if it’s 100% legal. In 2021, weed laws can be somewhat confusing in the nation’s capital, and we hope that this article will help guide you through what is and what is not legal in the District of Columbia (DC). 

Weed has been consumed by many nations for centuries and has become a viable business opportunity for those willing to take on the legalities and red tape of owning a cannabis-based business. The ability to legally consume cannabis has opened up some lucrative opportunities for dispensaries, cultivation specialists, and smoke shops around the area, as well as weed delivery DC. To successfully navigate the space, you must know the laws. 

First off, let’s start with what is not a criminal violation in DC. 

In 2014, voters in the district approved to legalize the possession of small amounts of weed for personal use. This action is commonly known as the Personal Use Initiative or “Initiative 71”. The law was instated on February 26th of 2015. With the Personal Use Initiative in place, it is now legal for a person who is 21 years of age or older to:

  • Possess TWO (2) ounces of marijuana or less;
  • Transfer ONE ounce of marijuana or less to another person who is also at least 21 years of age or older, just as long as there is no payment made or any other exchange of goods or services. This is roughly interpreted as “gifting.” ;
  • Grow / Cultivate up to SIX (6) marijuana plants inside their residence. Of the 6, no more than THREE (3) can be mature;
  • Have in possession, marijuana-related products and paraphernalia such as rolling papers, blunt or cigar wrappers, pipes or bongs – that’s associated with an ounce or less of weed; or
  • Use marijuana on the grounds of private property.

Alternatively, here are a few points that people can still be arrested for under the current laws of DC:

  • The sale of any amount of marijuana to another person;
  • Having more than TWO (2) ounces of marijuana in one’s possession;
  • Operation of a motor vehicle or boat while under the influence of marijuana; or
  • Smoking, eating, or drinking marijuana in any public place such as public parks, streets, sidewalks, alleys, etc.

Those possessing marijuana that is not of the age of 21 or older can be arrested if they have more than 2 ounces of marijuana. If local authorities observe a person under the age of 21 with up to TWO (2) ounces of marijuana, it will be seized. Still, the person will not be arrested nor issued a citation or ticket. If a person states that they are 21 years of age or older but cannot prove their age with a valid identification card, they will be issued a warning ticket. The seized item(s) will be returned if the person brings in the warning ticket and proof of them being 21 years of age or older. This will need to be presented to the police station in the same district where the seizure occurred. This sequence should happen no sooner than 24 hours of seizure and no later than 21 days after. 

Individuals who have an authorized medical marijuana card (MMJ Card) from the District Department of Health can continue to possess up to TWO (2) ounces of medical marijuana per month. 

In Conclusion

It is always wise to be in the know when it comes to the laws in your area. For adults 21 years of age or older, the laws are more favorable than they have been in the past. Stay smart and consume marijuana under the guidance of local laws. You can safely and legally consume marijuana in DC and enjoy the many healing benefits of the cannabis Sativa plant.

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