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War on Marijuana: Is it Justified?

Jordan Webber

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War on Drugs and Marijuana

Medical marijuana may be legal in many places across the globe, but the fact remains that wars on marijuana – and drugs, in general – are still being waged in other parts of the world. History.com defines ‘war on drugs’ as an initiative led by governments seeking to eliminate the illicit use, distribution and trade of drugs by implementing increased penalties. Cannabis is considered as an illegal substance by many governments.

Those who have watched Netflix’s Narcos telling the life of Pablo Escobar and Colombia’s war on drugs know how bloody this campaign can be. With such a complicated topic to which millions of deaths have been attributed, you may be prompted to ask: is the war drugs justified?

In attempting to answer the question, it is important to take time to research and read up on various stories and reports related to this topic. Read on to know more about this policy implemented in many parts of the world.

 

A Background on the War on Marijuana

Here’s a brief background to give you an idea about the different drug war campaigns across the world:

  • In the United States

The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 was enacted in the United States, imposing a tax on the sale of cannabis. However, President Nixon repealed this act and placed marijuana in the list of Schedule I drugs along with heroin, LSD and ecstasy. Schedule I substances are those with high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical treatment use in the U.S. and without accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

While 33 states along with Washington, D.C. have legalized medical marijuana, it is still illegal on the federal level. In fact, marijuana remains to be a Schedule I drug until today. Some would say that the U.S. war on marijuana continues, especially as SWAT raids against marijuana dealers (big- and small-time) have resulted in deaths of suspects and officers alike. There are cases in which suspects were unintentionally and intentionally killed in custody.

Generally, the U.S. drug war has led the country to spend $47+ billion annually, with 659,700 individuals arrested in 2017 for violating marijuana laws and 599,282 individuals charged with the violation due to possession.

  • The Mexican Drug War

The drug war in Mexico was declared by President Felipe Calderon towards the end of 2006. It is reported to have resulted in the death of more than 200,000 individuals due to drug-related violence. This initiative was launched not only to stop the use and distribution of dangerous substances such as heroin and cocaine but also to intercept marijuana trafficking.

Ironically, this plant was deemed as the country’s largest agricultural export back in 2010, which means that the revenue brought by cannabis was funding the country’s war. From 2012 to 2018, President Felipe Calderon continued this campaign leading to the capture of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and other significant figures in illegal drug trafficking.

  • The Philippines’ War on Drugs

Since 2016, the Philippine has been the subject of talks due to the relatively recent implementation of the drug war by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016. Reports on the death count vary as the Drug Policy Alliance says there is more than 12,000 dead due to the initiative, while Al Jazeera says that around 27,000 lives were lost.

Just like in the U.S. and Mexico, the Philippines’ war fights cannabis as part of this campaign. Recent criticisms against the implementation stemmed from the country’s authorities wanting to ban the song ‘Amatz’ by rapper Shanti Dope as it supposedly promotes MJ use.

Authorities also earned criticisms for burning millions worth of the plant in an open-air area to destroy it and for making jokes about using the herb in light of the death toll.

  • Other Parts of the World

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena expressed his commendation of the Philippine campaign, while Al Jazeera reported in Bangladesh’s ‘Philippine-style war on drugs’ launched on May 2018.

Meanwhile, Asia countries such as Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore practices violent penalties for individuals ‘accused’ of using drugs. These punishments include caning, whipping and flogging suspect, including adults and children.

China also has its version of the initiative launched in the 1990s involving placing drug users who were seen as national or public threats in detention facilities to be re-educated using ‘forced labor.’

Why Was Cannabis Legalized?

When this many governments are fighting marijuana as part of their drug wars, you might not help but think: why was this plant legalized in some parts of the world? Here are some factors that you should consider in finding an answer to this question:

The Failure of Drug Wars

An article published by Vox says that the legalization of the plant is a response to the failure of the drug wars. According to Vox, the war on marijuana has resulted in black markets for the plant. This shows that even with increased penalties and efforts to eliminate cannabis use, the wars fail to stop the consumption of the plant.

Places Where Medical Marijuana is Legal

Aside from failing to stop people from using the herb, these types of campaign fail to recognize the scientifically proven medical use of the plant. It is important to remember that the plant was utilized by ancient civilizations for medicinal purposes, as well as for recreational and industrial endeavors. Meanwhile, there are countries which have legalized the application of the plant not only in medicine but also for recreation.

  • Uruguay

This South American country is the first one to legalize the plant. Uruguayans have been able to access this herb for medical and recreational use since 2013.

  • Canada

In October 2018, Canada legalized not only MMJ but also the recreational use of this plant nationwide.

  • Thailand

Towards the end of 2018, Thailand became the first country in Asia to make medical cannabis fully legal.

  • Some States in the U.S.

In the last election conducted in November 2018, the U.S. now has 33 states that allow the use of medical marijuana. Of this number, 10 states and District of Columbia allows the recreational use of the plant. Meanwhile, only 3 states (Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota) complete prohibits cannabis and its cannabinoids. The rest of the states allow the use of cannabidiol (CBD) with regulated amounts of THC. The recently passed Farm Bill also legalized hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) as an industrial crop.

  • Other countries

According to various sources, the following countries with favorable marijuana laws are:

  • Argentina – Fully decriminalized with legal CBD and partial MMJ legalization
  • Australia – Partial decriminalization and fully legal MMJ
  • Chile – Fully legalized MMJ
  • Colombia – Fully decriminalized and legal MMJ
  • Croatia – Fully legal MMJ
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic – Fully legal MMJ
  • Germany – Fully decriminalized and legal MMJ
  • Greece
  • India – Legal in some states, but illegal on the federal level
  • Israel – Fully legalized MMJ
  • Italy – Fully legalized MMJ
  • Jamaica – Fully decriminalized and partially legal MMJ
  • Lesotho
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia – Fully legal MMJ
  • Malta
  • Mexico – Decriminalized and fully legal MMJ
  • Norway
  • Poland – Partially legal MMJ
  • Puerto Rico – Fully legal MMJ
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey – Fully legalized MMJ
  • Zimbabwe

Meanwhile, personal use of the herb is legal in Peru, Spain, the Netherlands and South Africa.

The Medical Applications of Marijuana

The number of countries with favorable cannabis laws show that the plant has a lot to offer in medicine and medical treatments. It has been used for pain management, treatment for mood and mental disorders, preventive treatments and even as a treatment for opioid addiction.

Common chronic and debilitating diseases that are qualified for MMJ

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Brain degeneration diseases
  • Hepatitis C
  • PTSD

MMJ is also prescribed to patients who experience chronic or debilitating symptoms and effects of treatments. This includes:

  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Muscle spasms
  • Severe and chronic pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
  • Severe or persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis

The Future of Medical Marijuana

In the U.S., there are 9 state leaders who expressed the desire to legalize recreational cannabis. These states are Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has also introduced the S. 420 bill, which aims to legalize the plant on the federal level.

Meanwhile, the Philippines’ House of Representatives passed the House Bill 6517, which gives access to medical marijuana in January 2019.

Conclusion

The question stands: Is the war on marijuana justified? Doubts remain even as medical marijuana is legalized in many parts of the world. Some individuals believe that what reports call ‘state-sanctioned violence’ is called for in order to eliminate the use of illicit drugs including marijuana. However, the deaths of suspects and innocents are not justified and some analysts say that these drug war-related violence can be avoided through legalization. Moreover, the socio-economic implications of these initiatives should also never be pushed aside.

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Cannabis Legalization

Quick Facts About CBD Laws and Use in France

Jordan Webber

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For French residents and the millions that travel there annually (Pre COVID, of course), the French culture is a bright, vibrant, and progressive one. People live their daily lives and work hard to establish a stable future and a legacy that they can be proud of. That likely will not change in our lifetime; however, one thing that has changed over the years is the CBD legislation in France.

What is the legal status of CBD in France?

While cannabis laws vary quite a bit in the European Union(EU), France is known to take a more liberal stance with many substances in the past, but cannabis is not one of them. As of today, the use of cannabis in France is illegal. This means you are not allowed to smoke or consume edibles with high THC in them. If you are not familiar, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive ingredient that gives users that “high” feeling in the head and body, depending on the strains you consume. On the other hand, CBD from hemp is legal and can be found in many stores and health food shops around the country. With that said, there are undoubtedly many restrictions around the packaging and sale of any CBD products. As with most countries, companies that produce CBD for the mass market are not allowed to make any medical claims. Also, like the United States, CBD must have an overall THC content of less than 0.2% to be sold legally. This means full-spectrum CBD is currently not legal.

Where can CBD be found in France?

CBD oil and other products that contain the substance can be found in-store or online in France. Familiar places to purchase CBD are in health & wellness shops and even local convenience stores. As CBD use continues to grow in popularity, more shops are looking to stock and distribute them to interested customers. The same is happening online, where CBD companies are flourishing amid the current pandemic.

Typical products are CBD infused beverages, beauty products, and even pet treats. 

Can you grow hemp for CBD in France?

For the record, France is one of the only countries in the western world that has never banned growing hemp for CBD production. It is frequently used to make paper and clothing products and is 100% legal as of today. France is the largest producer of hemp in the EU.

Conclusion

Although the cannabis Sativa plants used to create high THC strains are not legal, CBD, and all products in the CBD realm are currently legal and thriving in France. You can find CBD oil in tinctures all over the country, and it should all comply with countrywide regulations of not being a consumable and not stating any medical claims to cure any illness.

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Cannabis Legalization

AZ Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization Will Be Voted On In November

Daniel King

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Marijuana Legalization

As of today, the use of cannabis is for recreational purposes is illegal. During the upcoming voting cycle in November, the state will put this hot topic back on the ballot for the citizens of Arizona to decide on once again. This initiative was voted on back in 2016 and failed with 48.7% of the vote

The Secretary of State in Arizona confirmed that enough valid signatures were received and that this initiative will be on the ballot come voting time. This comes as a surprise to many who voted against it back in 2016 but a welcomed gift for the new voters for 2020.

The opposition filed a lawsuit to keep this off the general election ballots due to the terms of the petition not providing enough information regarding the reform allowing the state’s legislature could not change more potent strains of cannabis and a hefty tax on the sales. 

While reviewing the general thoughts on recreational legalization in the state, many were good with this being on the ballot and voted on. We don’t always get positive marijuana news from this state so there is a larger than normal amount of eyes around this topic now.

Now we all will wait to see what the great folks in Arizona do this November.

Do you live in Arizona? How do you feel about this being back on the ballot block? We would love to hear from you on it.

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Cannabis Blogs

5 Products Available At Cannabis Dispensaries

Daniel King

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cannabis dispensaries

Many people have long enjoyed the variety of health benefits of cannabis. The substance is the base of numerous products sold in venues for legal purchase known as marijuana dispensaries. Read on for a brief overview of cannabis, its purported benefits and the items that one might find available for sale inside such destinations.

Cannabis Overview

 Cannabis is a commonly grown plant. Various components of this herb, such as its seed oil and dried leaves, are employed for a wide variety of therapeutic and medicinal purposes.

 Systemic Impact

 The chemicals in cannabinoids, which are products composed of cannabis, project a soothing effect over the brain’s neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters submit messages throughout, which help nerve cells throughout the body perform various important functions. These components, also known as brain cells, impact critical, everyday actions, like cognitive functions, coordination, movement, thought and sensory perception.

 Some people use cannabis-based substances, such as marijuana, for recreational purposes. When employed for such uses, the drug can exert an ultra-soothing influence over the brain and induce a feeling of tremendous calm and could potentially diminish one’s cognitive functions, like memory and concentration, in addition to their reflexes and reaction times.

Bowl of Buds at Marijuana Dispensary – Closeup details shots of fresh kind buds.

 Marijuana has, however, found an important place in modern medicine. For those who smoke the chemical, they often experience potentially positive occurrences, including decreased levels of pain and an improved appetite. These attributes possess the capacity to benefit subjects stricken with major illnesses, such as cancer and other life-threatening maladies. As well, medical professionals prescribe them in medicinal dosages to those dealing with such ailments.

 That said, when ingested for remedial endeavours, most cannabis-laden products do not impact the mind but lessen a host of systemic problems capable of eliciting numerous untoward and potentially life-altering symptoms.

 Ingestion Methods

 There are several ways for an individual to ingest cannabis into their system. Most people are familiar with the most common internal route, which is smoking. Those who use marijuana inhale lit cigarettes composed of the substance or inhale vapours created from the substance’s smoke.

 However, cannabis-based products enter the body through different avenues. Many items containing cannabidiol, often abbreviated as CBD, come in topical form. These materials come in the form of oils, ointments and lotions, which receive application to the skin. On other occasions, cannabidiol can be ingested in various foods and beverages or taken as a supplement presented in capsule form.

 Therapeutic Uses Of Products Containing Cannabis

 Scientific studies have concluded that cannabis-laden products do not merely help seriously or terminally ill subjects. Items like CBD oil might provide relief for individuals coping with less severe but potentially life-changing issues, including:

 Pain

 CBD has proven effective in treating the discomfort associated with chronic conditions, like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Such subjects witnessed improvement in performing simple activities, such as walking and executing other pertinent movements without significant pain.

 Sleep Quality

 Individuals experiencing sleep challenges or even full-blown insomnia have noticed some improvement after using CBD products. Regardless of the precipitating factor, many users have gotten more vital sleep as a result.

 Skin Maladies

 CBD has proven effective in easing the physical manifestations associated with the common skin ailment known as acne. Researchers have been unable to draw an exact correlation between cannabis and the ailment. However, said scientific professionals opine that these fruitful results may be attributable to the drug’s inflammation-fighting properties, in addition to its ability to suppress excessive systemic production of an oily skin secretion called sebum.

 Cardiovascular System

 Studies conducted have shown that individuals who use CBD products may witness a reduction in blood pressure. High blood pressure is often a major culprit in potentially life-threatening problems, like heart attacks, strokes and peripheral vascular disease.

 Various Mental Disorders

 The soothing effects of cannabis-comprised items may precipitate improvement in individuals diagnosed with mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression. CBD products have gained notice as potential therapeutic options for these issues because said products are thought not to elicit the side effects that other drugs commonly employed to treat such ailments do.

 Substance Abuse Treatment

People employ cannabis as a drug addiction treatment. Researchers have found that CBD may modify brain circuits related to drug dependency and has returned favourable results in aiding those with addictions to narcotic substances, like heroin.

Five Products Available At A Cannabis Dispensary

 Topical Products

 CBD oil is amongst the most popular products a marijuana dispensary sells. These products often come in different types and aromas. Industry insiders opine that the effects are not as strong as other cannabis products. However, these items are still potent enough to provide suitable relief for health issues, such as skin problems, pain and headaches.

 Edible Items

Foods can have cannabis infusions added. Experts suggest the oral route is the most effective mode of administration for those using said materials for medicinal purposes. Products commonly containing cannabis concentrations include foods, like chocolate and beverages, such as coffee and tea.

 Pills

 Capsules are favoured by many because such modes of administration enable users to monitor the amounts they are ingesting carefully. Though somewhat more expensive than edible products, pills are easy to take and do not possess the distinctive cannabis taste that some might find disagreeable.

 Vaporizers

 Usually, vaporizers appear like pens that allow those who prefer smoking cannabis to ingest the substance in as healthy and effective a way possible. Vaping pens have cartridges that process water into vapour. When one vapes, they are not forced to hold the smoke in their mouth. Such practices are far more gentle on the user’s lungs.

 Sprays

 These products typically come in bottles equipped with eyedropper-like objects. Usually, users remove the dispenser from the bottle and drop a small percentage of liquid under their tongue. Industry insiders suggest that this method is popular because cannabis effects commence with greater expediency than other methods.

What To Look For In A Marijuana Dispensary

 Not all such facilities are created equal. Prospective customers are encouraged to conduct business with establishments demonstrating responsibility. Reputable distributors understand that cannabis is a drug and will not sell to individuals indiscriminately. In many cases, proprietors of such establishments will want to know the potential purchaser’s purpose for using the substance.

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