Connect with us

Cannabis Legalization

War on Marijuana: Is it Justified?

Jordan Webber

Published

on

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 However, President Nixon repealed this act and placed marijuana in the list of Schedule I drugs along with heroin, LSD and ecstasy.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.

Continue Reading

Cannabis Legalization

ACT Legalizes the Adult-Use of Recreational Cannabis

Stacey Wellington

Published

on

Adult-Use of Recreational Cannabis

After months of waiting, residents of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) now have access to legal adult-use cannabis, said SBS News. This legalization came after the ACT Legislative Assembly voted for the then-proposed bill back in September 2019, according to a report by The Guardian.

Last  January 31, 2020, residents of legal age will be able to carry a maximum of 50 grams. This new law will also allow them to grow up to two cannabis plants. Adults will also be able to carry up to 150 grams of “wet” cannabis. As the law legalizes marijuana for private and adult-use only, users are urged to keep the plant away from the public eye and children.

ACT citizens have expressed optimism about this development. One resident was pleased with this development and is hopeful about the benefits of the plant.

‘Opposed to the legalization of Recreational Cannabis in ACT’

This development was frowned upon by the Federal Government, which issued a warning to ACT residents. According to SBS News, the government said that residents “would still be breaking Commonwealth law” when they consume recreational cannabis, despite its legalization in the Australian capital.

During a speech to the National Press Club, Prime Minister Scott Morrison states that “states will make their own decisions according to priorities and complexions of their own government.” However, he emphasized that he “would expect the federal law enforcement agencies to press the law.”

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr noted that this development is progress when it comes to drug reform. Barr said that state law enforcement would be focusing on organized crime and large-scale production of illegal drugs. Moreover, this action seeks to make it clear that the state government does not want to penalize or stigmatize users.

Meanwhile, Dr. Nicole Lee from the National Drug Research Institute is optimistic about this decision. She criticized the stigma created by the war on drugs, saying that this campaign has pegged marijuana issues as a criminal justice matter.

By legalizing the plant, Lee said that cannabis will become a health and human rights issue. She emphasized that the negative effects of long-term excessive use will still persist even without legalization. According to her, legalization will make it easier for users to get the help they need.

In light of this move by the capital, New Zealand is also mulling on the legalization of the plant. It will hold a referendum in September.

Continue Reading

Cannabis Legalization

Cleveland City Council Oks Decriminalization of Low-Level Marijuana

Jordan Webber

Published

on

Low-Level Cannabis Decriminalization

Citizens of Cleveland are set to welcome a new ordinance that may be beneficial to medical marijuana patients after the City Council approved legislation on Monday eliminating penalties over possession of low-level marijuana.

According to reports, the Cleveland City Council had voted 15-2 in favor of a new ordinance that would eliminate penalties, including fines and jail time, for individuals who are to be caught with up to 200 grams or about 7 ounces of marijuana.

Under the legislation, called Ordinance No. 902-2019, individuals who have been previously convicted of marijuana possession would not be required to report the conviction during their pre-employment screening. Moreover, as part of the measure, the conviction will also set to not appear on the individual’s criminal record.

What we’re proposing is zero fines, zero jail time for anyone who has up to 200 grams of marijuana,” explained Councilman Blaine A. Griffin, the sponsor of the ordinance.

Let this be a bold first step in how we look at 21st Century policing,” he added.

Under the existing state law, individuals who are to be caught in possession of up to 100 grams of cannabis will be subjected to a $150 fine, while those with up to 200 grams will face a fine of $250 and up to 30 days of jail time.

To date, while Cleveland won’t be able to outdo the existing state laws, the city has the ability to regulate and implement local penalties for minor misdemeanor and misdemeanor crimes.

Prior to the voting, Mayor Frank George Jackson of Cleveland, along with including Police Chief Calvin Williams and chief City Prosecutor Karrie Howard, expressed their support for the legislation.

The ordinance, effective upon the mayor’s signature, will make Cleveland the latest addition to the ranks of other cities in Ohio that had decriminalized low-level cannabis possession. Among those cities include Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, and Toledo.

According to Griffin, the new legislation would help end the racial disparity commonly found in the enforcement of cannabis laws.

We have always known that African-Americans are sometimes seven times more likely to be charged with marijuana possession,” the Mayor expressed.

“In addition to good government, this is really trying to create an equitable policy, as well as moving to the 21st century and away from the ’70s, when it comes to marijuana and cannabis use,” he added.

The ordinance comes only a week after the city of Austin in Texas approved a similar legislation that will decriminalize possession of low-level cannabis in the city.

Continue Reading

Cannabis Legalization

Proposed Bill in Colorado to Protect Marijuana-User Employees

Jordan Webber

Published

on

Colorado Lawmakers Propose Law to Prevent Businesses from Firing Marijuana-Users

Two Colorado lawmakers had proposed to pass a law preventing businesses from firing employees who use cannabis outside of their work hours.

The HB20-1089, which was introduced by Democratic Rep. Jevon Melton of Aurora, prohibits employers “from terminating an employee for the employee’s lawful off-duty activities that are lawful under state law.

If passed, the bill will override a decision made by the Colorado Supreme Court in 2015, which upheld the decision of the company Dish Network in firing its employee, Brandon Coats, after the latter failed a random drug test in 2010.

While Coat’s use of marijuana is considered legal under the state law, the Court ruled that the decision to fire Coat is valid as the state’s “lawful activity” statute is only limited to activities that are legal under both state and federal level. Since marijuana use remains to be illegal at the federal level, this prevents people from recognizing the practice as a lawful activity.

It was just a glaring gap that we have here in the statute, especially when we’re supposed to regulate marijuana like we are with alcohol,” commented Melton. “If someone’s able to drink while they’re at home and on their free time, as long as they’re not coming into work intoxicated, then they’re not penalized with their employment.”

Proposed Bill  – What’s in it?

Under the bill proposed by Melton, “lawful activity” will be defined as those that are legal under the state law. This would make the use of marijuana a lawful activity, thus preventing employers from firing workers that engage in the said activity.

Melton’s bill is currently supported by fellow House Democrat Rep. Jonathan Singer of Longmont, who claimed that terminating workers over their legal marijuana use negatively affects the poor and that the state should “wipe the slate clean” for those who use the drug.

In 2012, voters approved the ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana use in Colorado. However, despite the amendment, employers can still fire workers who are to be caught using cannabis on or off their work hours.

“We’re really not creating a new law. This law has been on the books when it comes to alcohol and tobacco use; we’re just expanding,” Melton explained. “The way it’s written now, it’s broad enough to cover anything the legislature would legalize in the future. We didn’t want a future legislature to come back and revisit this when they legalize something else.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement cbd oil
Cannabis Firms Experience Boost in Sales Amid Covid-19 Panic
Cannabis News5 days ago

Cannabis Firms Experience Boost in Sales Amid Covid-19 Panic

California Cannabis Taxes Hit Over $1 Billion
Cannabis News1 week ago

California Cannabis Taxes Hit Over $1 Billion

Denver Cancels its 420 Festival in View of Virus Pandemic, Coronavirus, Covid-19
Cannabis News1 week ago

Denver Cancels its 420 Festival in View of Virus Pandemic

Virginia Moves to Decriminalize Marijuana
Cannabis News2 weeks ago

Virginia Moves to Decriminalize Marijuana

PrestoDoctor Snags Top Cannabis Telemedicine Award
Benefits of Medical Marijuana2 weeks ago

PrestoDoctor Snags Top Cannabis Telemedicine Award

Legalized Cannabis Banking Expected To Have Small Impact
Cannabis News2 weeks ago

Legalized Cannabis Banking Expected To Have Small Impact

Cannabis in the Time of Coronavirus, Covid-19
Cannabis News2 weeks ago

Cannabis in the Time of Coronavirus: What You Need to Do

Legal Marijuana Sales in Illinois Score Nearly $75M in First Two Months
Cannabis News3 weeks ago

Illinois Marijuana Sale Score Nearly $75M in First Two Months

Covid-9, Cannabis Stocks
Cannabis News3 weeks ago

Cannabis Stocks Fall, Businesses Affected Amid Covid-19

Utah Residents Hassled with Medical Marijuana Application Bug
Cannabis News4 weeks ago

Utah Residents Hassled with MMJ Online Application Glitch

Seniors Using Cannabis On The Rise
Benefits of Medical Marijuana4 weeks ago

JAMA Study: Number of Seniors Using Cannabis On The Rise

Cannabis News1 month ago

Elizabeth Warren Unveils Plans on Cannabis Policy

The Latest Cannabis Trends to Follow this 2020
Cannabis 1011 month ago

The Latest Cannabis Trends to Follow this 2020

Cannabis News1 month ago

Hawaii OKs Bill that Protects Workers Who are MMJ Patients

Medical Marijuana in Alabama
Benefits of Medical Marijuana1 month ago

Alabama Senate Committee OKs Bill to Legalize Medical Cannabis

Cannabis Oil Lab Explosion in California
Cannabis News1 month ago

Man Caught Amid a Cannabis Oil Lab Explosion in California

Celebrating World NGO Day with Cannabis Products
Arts & Culture1 month ago

4 Ideas for Celebrating World NGO Day with Cannabis Products

Cannabis News1 month ago

Why More Universities are Offering Cannabis Courses

Returned Cannabis Products
Cannabis News2 months ago

Returned Cannabis Products Becoming a Million-Dollar Problem

Cannabis Degree Program
Cannabis News2 months ago

Colorado State University to Offer Cannabis Degree Program

CBD Infused Drink
Cannabis News2 months ago

Cann Social Tonics Gains $5m in Funding

Cannabis Kitchen Essentials to Have This Holiday Season
CBD Drinks and Edibles3 months ago

4 Cannabis Kitchen Essentials to Have This Holiday Season

Thanksgiving Turkey
Cannabis Recipes5 months ago

Best Cannabis Recipes To Serve This Thanksgiving

Halloween Horror Movies
CBD Edibles5 months ago

Fright Night: 5 Horror Movies to Match with your CBD Snacks

CBD Edibles for Your Halloween Party
Cannabis Recipes6 months ago

3 CBD Edibles for Your Halloween Party

Cartoons to Watch with CBD Edibles
CBD Drinks and Edibles7 months ago

Top 7 Cartoons to Watch with CBD Edibles

Cannabis Cookbooks
Cannabis Recipes7 months ago

The Best Cannabis Cookbooks To Have

US-Restaurants that Serve CBD Food and Drinks
Cannabis Lifestyle7 months ago

5 Restaurants That Serve CBD Infused Food and Drinks

Arizona Iced Tea
Cannabis News8 months ago

Maker of Arizona Iced Tea to Enter Cannabis Industry

Cannabis Drinkables
Cannabis News8 months ago

Big Alcohol Companies to Develop Cannabis Drinks

Cannabis-Infused Multi-Course Meals
Cannabis News9 months ago

Yellowknife Chef to Develop Cannabis-Infused Multi-Course Meals

4th of July Celebration
Cannabis Recipes10 months ago

Cannabis Recipes To Try this 4th of July

Ben & Jerry's CBD Ice Cream
Cannabis News10 months ago

Ben and Jerry’s Intends to Make CBD Ice Cream, Enter Cannabis Industry

Marijuana Books
Arts & Culture11 months ago

Reading Literature: 5 Marijuana Books to Add on Your Must-Reads

Cannabis-Infused Recipes
Cannabis Recipes11 months ago

4 Cannabis-Infused Recipes to Bring on a Labor Day Getaway

CBD Oil
Cannabis Recipes11 months ago

Cannabis in Pots: Tips for Cooking Meals With CBD Oil

Cannabis Recipes for Easter
Cannabis Recipes12 months ago

Cannabis-Infused Recipes for Easter

CBD Recipes
Cannabis Recipes12 months ago

3 Delectable CBD-Infused Recipes to Whip Up on 420

Recipes for Cannabis
Cannabis Recipes1 year ago

Cooking with Cannabis: 4 Ways to Improve Recipes

Herbal Teas
CBD Drinks and Edibles1 year ago

Taking Weed to New Heights: 4 Herbs to Consume with Cannabis

CBD Oil and Sleep Benefits
Benefits of Medical Marijuana1 week ago

3 Excellent Sleep Benefits with Using CBD Oil

PrestoDoctor Snags Top Cannabis Telemedicine Award
Benefits of Medical Marijuana2 weeks ago

PrestoDoctor Snags Top Cannabis Telemedicine Award

Seniors Using Cannabis On The Rise
Benefits of Medical Marijuana4 weeks ago

JAMA Study: Number of Seniors Using Cannabis On The Rise

Medical Marijuana in Alabama
Benefits of Medical Marijuana1 month ago

Alabama Senate Committee OKs Bill to Legalize Medical Cannabis

CBD for Heart Disease, Medical Marijuana
Benefits of Medical Marijuana2 months ago

CBD Oil for Heart Disease – Health Benefits of CBD

Cannabis, Marijuana and Weight Loss
Benefits of Medical Marijuana2 months ago

Cannabis and Weight Loss – What You Need to Know

Cannabis , Pain Management and Monthly Period
Benefits of Medical Marijuana2 months ago

Surprising Ways You Can Use Cannabis to Deal with Period Pains

Cannabis To Promote Body Positivity
Benefits of Medical Marijuana3 months ago

How Cannabis Can Help Promote Body Positivity

Cannabis as a Treatment for Endometriosis
Benefits of Medical Marijuana3 months ago

Cannabis as Treatment for Endometriosis

Medical Marijuana, CBD, and PCOS
Benefits of Medical Marijuana4 months ago

The Potentials of Medical Marijuana and CBD in Treating PCOS

CBD Yoga
Benefits of Medical Marijuana4 months ago

Interested in CBD Yoga? Here’s What You Can Expect

Medical Marijuana Research
Benefits of Medical Marijuana4 months ago

Washington State U and BRC Team Up for Medical Marijuana Research

CBD as health and wellness alternative? Ask your doctor!
Benefits of Medical Marijuana5 months ago

What You Should Discuss With Your Doctor About CBD

Canine Lymphoma
Benefits of Medical Marijuana5 months ago

CBD Treatment for National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day

CBD Edibles for Anxiety
Benefits of Medical Marijuana6 months ago

Top 4 Best CBD Edibles For Anxiety

How To Tell Which CBD Products You Should Be Taking
Benefits of Medical Marijuana6 months ago

How To Tell Which CBD Products You Should Be Taking

European Commission Approves EPIDYOLEX
Benefits of Medical Marijuana6 months ago

European Commission Approves EPIDYOLEX

Pancreatic Cancer Treat
Benefits of Medical Marijuana7 months ago

Cannabis-Derived Compound Has Potential to Treat Pancreatic Cancer

DC Opens Marijuana Dispensaries
Benefits of Medical Marijuana8 months ago

DC Opens Marijuana Dispensaries to Out-of-State Patients

Cannabis and the Brain
Benefits of Medical Marijuana8 months ago

How Cannabis Affects the Human’s Brain

Trending Articles