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 However, President Nixon repealed this act and placed marijuana in the list of Schedule I drugs along with heroin, LSD and ecstasy.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

Hobo Cannabis Wants Delivery Service to be Legal in BC

Carissa Stevens

Published

on

Cannabis store chain Hobo Cannabis is urging legislators to make delivery service legal in British Columbia, said CBC. This call is a step toward stopping illegal dealing in the province. The licensed dispensary, along with other certified vendors, argued that they are “at a disadvantage against unlicensed competitors who deliver weed.” The report emphasized that BC does not have cannabis laws allowing the delivery of cannabis products.

This issue has been a concern for many licensed vendors for a long time, said Harrison Stoker, vice president of Donnelly Group, the company that owns Hobo Cannabis. However, the illicit delivery of cannabis products has become more rampant over the past few months because of the virus pandemic, as customers choose to get their products delivered to protect themselves from the public health risk.

According to Stoker, “The illicit market [in BC] is very intelligent, very strategic and very mature in their business models.” He also said that the pandemic was a prime time for the illegitimate industry. Stoker asserts that legalizing delivery services can help them compete with such illegal sellers. It could also help fight the black market.

The CBC report noted that consumers can have their products legally delivered through mail by going through the government-operated BC Cannabis Store. However, packages take a few days before they arrive, as opposed to delivery options that could be same-day.

The article also cited Weedmaps, a cannabis-focused website, which offers a list of delivery services in the Lower Mainland. It even guarantees quick delivery, usually within one hour. Stoker argues that modern times call for a more updated approach as “people expect these kinds of modern retail features.”

By allowing licensed stores to deliver, customers do not have to opt for black market products. Instead, they can choose among authorized products just like what happens in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, where delivery is legal.

Meanwhile, the province’s Ministry of Public Safety said that it is now evaluating the possibility of legalizing deliveries. It has also been taking steps to crack down on the illicit industry, despite facing significant challenges because many of them operate online. The Ministry is in charge of the legal cannabis program in the province.

Mark Haden from the UBC School of Population and Public Health with experience in writing about drug regulation said that legalizing deliveries is a great short-term move. The better action in the long-run is to “bring the illegal sector into line with the law.”

Continue Reading

Cannabis Legalization

Louisiana to Provide Wider Access to MMJ Via New Law

Stacey Wellington

Published

on

mmj expansion bill

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards officially signed the expansion of the state’s therapeutic cannabis program into law last week. Edwards announced his action Monday evening, June 15, 2020. Under this, the in-state medical marijuana program will recognize an array of maladies and conditions beyond the initial set list approved by the legislature.

Slated to take effect by August 1, 2020, the new law would reportedly allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana-based treatment for any condition they see fit. Likewise, this would also take away the previous restrictions on cases which doctors can recommend this treatment.

The MMJ expansion bill was introduced and sponsored by Representative Larry Bagley. According to Marijuana Moment, Bagley initially only included traumatic brain injuries, as well as concussions, as part of the list. The bill, however, was amended to include what a doctor “considers debilitating to an individual patient.”

Moreover, ABC News reports that doctors will no longer have to sign up and register for a license to authorize or recommend cannabis treatment from the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners.

Prior to this amendment, only licensed cannabis specialists are allowed to provide cannabis-based recommendations to their patients based on the 16 serious health conditions found under the legislature-approved list, reports Fox 8.

Despite these changes, Fox 8 states that physicians are still required to uphold the state reporting requirements that seek to support the Louisiana State University (LSU) and Southern University in its respective research efforts. Both universities are the only two institutions that are recognized and authorized to grow cannabis within the state.

mmj bill

Apart from signing the bill into law, Governor Edwards also signed another legislation that protects banks and credit unions catering to cannabis businesses from being penalized by state regulators, reports Marijuana Moment.

The Louisiana governor has also signed another bill that extends legal protection to medical professionals and doctors, as well as medical facilities, who opt for a medical marijuana-based treatment program and who have respective cannabis patients under their care and jurisdiction, notes Marijuana Moment.

The approval and signing of the aforementioned bills come after lawmakers brought the cannabis bills to Edwards’ office earlier this June. A hemp and CBD regulation proposal has yet to be approved or acted upon accordingly by the state governor.

In an interview with Fox 8, war veteran and medical cannabis user Gary Hess said that the recent legislation in Louisiana may serve as a model for nationwide implementation. However, Hess believes that this is only possible if stakeholders truly express vigilance and care for their patients, and if the state addresses the stigma surrounding the plant.

Continue Reading

Cannabis Legalization

IL Delays Issuing of Licenses for Minority Business Owners

Stacey Wellington

Published

on

Illinois has moved its schedule for giving cannabis licenses to minorities, said Block Club Chicago. Aspiring business owners who are entrepreneurs were meant to receive their licenses by the start of May but may now have to wait for a few months. At the very least, applicants can expect their licenses over the next months.

The state government announced that it will be giving 75 dispensary licenses, which were supposed to be given on May 1. However, governor JB Pritzker approved an executive order toward the end of April delaying the issuing of such permits to successful applicants. The indefinite suspension of this decision is due to the virus pandemic, as well as persistent glitches in the system used to process applications.

All 75 permits, which were intended for minority applicants, were scheduled for issuance on May 1, at the same time. Because of the executive order, some could be given theirs next month. Meanwhile, others could wait until August this year before they can be awarded their authorizations.

In explaining the need for the delay, former state senator and head of the state’s cannabis program Toi Hutchinson, said that it is needed in order to guarantee that there will be no error in the issuance of permits. It is also designed to avoid potential lawsuits from unsuccessful applicants.

Hutchinson recognized the effects of this order to those anticipating their licenses. He expressed his concern to individuals waiting for the decision, which could be having a hard time weathering the situation.

As mentioned, the 75 permits were intended to boost the number of minority-owned businesses. Currently, the state’s cannabis industry is dominated by white men and this measure sought to prioritize “social equity applicants.”

Block Club Chicago explained that interested parties can qualify as social equity applicants by ensuring that “at least 51% of an ownership group applying for a state license [lives] in an area most impacted by the war on drugs.” The same percentage should also have “been arrested or had a family member arrested for a cannabis-related offense.” The company should have over 10 full-time employees, with at least 51% of them qualifying for social equity status.

The delay also gave way to more issues regarding scoring. Applicants need to get a specific number of points to be considered successful. Those who get the same number of points are under tie-breaking rules, which expired on June 6. Because of the delay, it is unclear whether the permits will still be granted to those who won through the tie-breaking rules.

Continue Reading
Advertisement cbd oil
Cannabis Legalization1 week ago

Hobo Cannabis Wants Delivery Service to be Legal in BC

mmj expansion bill
Cannabis Legalization2 weeks ago

Louisiana to Provide Wider Access to MMJ Via New Law

Cannabis Legalization3 weeks ago

IL Delays Issuing of Licenses for Minority Business Owners

Racial Disparity in Marijuana Searches and Arrests
Cannabis Legalization3 weeks ago

Racial Disparity in Marijuana Searches and Arrests Still Persists, Studies Reveal

Cannabis Reforms Legislation
Cannabis Legalization3 weeks ago

Israel to Enact Cannabis Reforms Legislation

Green Growth
Cannabis News1 month ago

Canada OKs Green Growth Asset Sale Plan

Kratom 4 Reasons Why It’s Worth Exploring
Cannabis News1 month ago

Kratom: 4 Reasons Why It’s Worth Exploring

CBD Products
Cannabis News2 months ago

How to use CBD Oil for Pain – 2020 Quarterly Review

Milpitas Council Mulls Over Cannabis Sales Tax in Ballot
Cannabis News2 months ago

Milpitas Council Mulls Over Cannabis Sales Tax in Ballot

New Cannabis Strain, Leo Bridgewater and Harmony Dispensary
Cannabis News2 months ago

Harmony Dispensary, Leo Bridgewater Comes Out with New Strain

Arts & Culture2 months ago

10 Famous athletes who support the use of Cannabis

biden marijuana decriminalization plan for blacks
Cannabis News2 months ago

Biden’s Plan for Black America Includes Cannabis Reform

San Francisco Govt Gives Cannabis in A Harm Reduction Effort
Benefits of Medical Marijuana2 months ago

San Francisco Govt Gives Cannabis in A Harm Reduction Effort

Life in Quarantine Coping with CBD, Cannabis
Cannabis News2 months ago

Life in Quarantine: Coping with CBD

Here’s How to Use CBD Safely Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Arts & Culture2 months ago

Here’s How to Use CBD Safely Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Cannabis News2 months ago

Treating Neurodegenerative Diseases with The Help of Cannabis

Cannabis Use Increased in March in Light of Pandemic
Cannabis News2 months ago

Survey: Cannabis Use Increased in March in Light of Pandemic

DC Opens Marijuana Dispensaries
Benefits of Medical Marijuana2 months ago

DC Opens Marijuana Dispensaries to Out-of-State Patients

Cannabis Jobs
Cannabis News2 months ago

Top High-Paying Jobs in the Cannabis Industry

Las Vegas Police Seize $8.6 Million Worth of Cannabis Plants
Cannabis News3 months ago

$8.6 Million Worth of Cannabis Plants Seized in Nevada Police Raid

20 CBD Gummies for Sleep
Cannabis Recipes4 days ago

Hot Products: 20 CBD Gummies for Sleep

Cannabis Recipes6 days ago

How To Make CBD Cookies [VIDEO]

Cannabis Recipes1 week ago

Introducing CBD Water – What Is It and Should You Try It?

cannabis beverages
Cannabis Lifestyle2 weeks ago

Cannabis Beverages as a Refreshing Option for Consumers

Cannabis Cooking, CBD Recipes to Try While on Quarantine
Cannabis Recipes2 months ago

Quarantine Cooking: Cannabis Recipes to Tide You Over

CBD Recipes to Try Over the Weekend
Cannabis Recipes2 months ago

Top 3 CBD Recipes to Try Over the Weekend

CBD Infused Drink
Cannabis News5 months ago

Cann Social Tonics Gains $5m in Funding

Cannabis Kitchen Essentials to Have This Holiday Season
CBD Drinks and Edibles7 months ago

4 Cannabis Kitchen Essentials to Have This Holiday Season

Thanksgiving Turkey
Cannabis Recipes8 months ago

Best Cannabis Recipes To Serve This Thanksgiving

Halloween Horror Movies
CBD Edibles8 months ago

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

CBD Edibles for Your Halloween Party
Cannabis Recipes9 months ago

3 CBD Edibles for Your Halloween Party

Cartoons to Watch with CBD Edibles
CBD Drinks and Edibles10 months ago

Top 7 Cartoons to Watch with CBD Edibles

Cannabis Cookbooks
Cannabis Recipes10 months ago

The Best Cannabis Cookbooks To Have

US-Restaurants that Serve CBD Food and Drinks
Cannabis Lifestyle11 months ago

5 Restaurants That Serve CBD Infused Food and Drinks

Arizona Iced Tea
Cannabis News11 months ago

Maker of Arizona Iced Tea to Enter Cannabis Industry

Cannabis Drinkables
Cannabis News11 months ago

Big Alcohol Companies to Develop Cannabis Drinks

Cannabis-Infused Multi-Course Meals
Cannabis News1 year ago

Yellowknife Chef to Develop Cannabis-Infused Multi-Course Meals

4th of July Celebration
Cannabis Recipes1 year ago

Cannabis Recipes To Try this 4th of July

Ben & Jerry's CBD Ice Cream
Cannabis News1 year ago

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

Marijuana Books
Arts & Culture1 year ago

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

Benefit of CBD
Benefits of Medical Marijuana4 hours ago

The Inside Story of Cannabidiol – What are the Benefits of CBD?

how cbd can help
Benefits of Medical Marijuana2 weeks ago

Here’s How CBD Can Help You While Stuck in Quarantine

treatment for fibromyalgia
Benefits of Medical Marijuana2 weeks ago

CBD as Treatment for Fibromyalgia: Is it Effective?

CBD to address insomia
Benefits of Medical Marijuana4 weeks ago

Using CBD to Address Insomnia: Is it Effective?

Kratom
Benefits of Medical Marijuana1 month ago

Kratom – Benefits, Uses, and Dosage

Benefits of Medical Marijuana1 month ago

Cannabis Mixed with Dung Found at Ancient Israeli Shrine

CBD as an Aid in Treating and Managing Asthma
Benefits of Medical Marijuana1 month ago

CBD as an Aid in Treating and Managing Asthma

Ways How CBD Is Changing the Health Industry
Benefits of Medical Marijuana1 month ago

5 Ways How CBD Is Changing the Health Industry

Why Consume CBD for Backpain Caused by the Pandemic
Benefits of Medical Marijuana1 month ago

Why Consume CBD for Backpain Caused by the Pandemic

Cannabis Use Increased in March in Light of Pandemic
Benefits of Medical Marijuana2 months ago

Can Cannabis Help In The Fight Against Anxiety?

Arts & Culture2 months ago

10 Famous athletes who support the use of Cannabis

San Francisco Govt Gives Cannabis in A Harm Reduction Effort
Benefits of Medical Marijuana2 months ago

San Francisco Govt Gives Cannabis in A Harm Reduction Effort

CBD Oil for Burnout
Benefits of Medical Marijuana2 months ago

A Guide on Using CBD Oil to Cope with Burnout

Cannabis and Pets
Benefits of Medical Marijuana2 months ago

Pot for Pets: Benefits of CBD Oil for Furry Friends

DC Opens Marijuana Dispensaries
Benefits of Medical Marijuana2 months ago

DC Opens Marijuana Dispensaries to Out-of-State Patients

cannabis
Benefits of Medical Marijuana3 months ago

CBD Help Guide: How to Manage Anxiety During Health Crisis

CBD Oil and Sleep Benefits
Benefits of Medical Marijuana3 months ago

3 Excellent Sleep Benefits with Using CBD Oil

PrestoDoctor Snags Top Cannabis Telemedicine Award
Benefits of Medical Marijuana4 months ago

PrestoDoctor Snags Top Cannabis Telemedicine Award

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

JAMA Study: Number of Seniors Using Cannabis On The Rise

Medical Marijuana in Alabama
Benefits of Medical Marijuana4 months ago

Alabama Senate Committee OKs Bill to Legalize Medical Cannabis

Trending Articles