The majority of America has either decriminalized cannabis, or legalized it for medicinal purposes
It’s almost hard to believe when you consider how strong prohibition continues in most parts of the country, but 27 states in the U.S. have either decriminalized cannabis possession, legalized possession and state-licensed retail sales, legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes, or a combination of the three.
Washington State has long been considered on the forefront of cannabis law reform, and over the past several months, things have escalated. Washington voters approved Initiative 502 with a resounding, double-digit victory. Possession of an ounce of cannabis is no longer a criminal offense. Smoking in clear public display is simply a ticket. Hundreds are filling meetings ran by the Liquor Control Board to discuss how legal cannabis retail outlets are going to be regulated. The state’s largest city, Seattle, has well over 100 access points for medical cannabis.
For all intents and purposes, cannabis is the new state flower for Washington.
Even better, voters aren’t the only advocates for change; their legislature is filled with champion reformists. And it shows.
Washington State lawmakers are currently discussing three cannabis-related bills, all of which passed through their respective committees, two unanimously.
As we move towards full legalization, it’s easy to forget that roughly 80% of all Americans support cannabis being legal for medicinal usage.
This is an incredible consensus on an issue that many people, and most politicians, still consider controversial. Getting 80% of Americans to agree on anything, better yet a switch from a substance being completely prohibited to allowed as a medicine, is rare, to put it lightly.
This is why it’s vital for supporters of reform to never forget about these numbers and the backing we have. We should never allow politicians to get away with ignoring this issue or playing it off as a political third wheel.
In a society that couldn’t hide its celebrity obsession if it tried, opinions of the famous – whether it rock star, movie star or athlete – tend to hold weight in the minds of those who admire these individuals. For better or worse.
This is what makes the newly launched Marijuana Majority a vital component of pushing cannabis legalization forward, and into the mainstream.
Founded by Tom Angell, who until recently was Media Relations Director for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Marijuana Majority is a website and social media movement that aims at compiling the ultimate list of celebrities, scientists, lawmakers, etc., who support an end to our failed war on cannabis.
In a shining example of not only police stupidity, but of just how ridiculous cannabis prohibition has become, a couple driving through Tennessee, both in their sixties, were pulled over and harassed by multiple police officers – in body armor and wielding guns – because of a report that they received about a pot-leaf bumper sticker that was on the vehicle.
It turns out, the bumper sticker wasn’t cannabis related, but rather a picture of a buckeye leaf. The couple was from Ohio, and are fans of the college football team the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Taking the words right from our mouths, Bonnie Jonas-Boggioni, one of the victims, stated to USA Today, “It’s just amazing they would be that dumb”. Ha.
Cannabis is a non-lethal, vastly medicinal, and wonderfully therapeutic plant. It being outlawed is one of the largest travesties of our time. The more we move forward as a society, and the more science improves, the more we learn of the true benefits of cannabis and ending its prohibition. Only propaganda and special interests have kept the beast alive.
The government, of course, does everything it can to stop legitimate research on the issue, besides to find potential negatives. Which, as far back as Nixon and the Shafer Report, tends to backfire.
Despite the resistance, science, especially over the past several years, has begun to make a mockery of the typical stereotypes and myths surrounding cannabis. Here is a look at some of the more important cannabis related studies to come our way in recent years.
Bob Erb of British Columbia won the lottery, earning himself a grand-total of $25 million. An activist at heart, Bob put this money right to use, by donating a large sum to a local homeless shelter, and pledging up to $500,000 to fight for an end to cannabis prohibition.
Round of applause to Bob.
“The biggest social injustice I’ve seen in all my entire lifetime is the criminalization and prohibition of marijuana,” he told CTV on Friday.
Right on Bob.
Bob, who told CTV that he “generally smokes 10-15 joints a day, 7 days a week”, will be donating his money in the form of a matching donation (someone gives a dollar, he matches it, up to half a million), which will go to the group Sensible B.C., which slogan is “Decriminalize Cannabis For a Safer Province.” In addition to lobbying their government to pass reform, the group is building its base to try and gather enough signatures to put the Sensible Policing Act to a vote of the people.
In what’s surely to be a horror story for cannabis consuming football fans, a man who lives on Vancouver Island was denied entrance in to the country – making him miss the Super Bowl he had tickets for – because of a prior cannabis possession charge. The charge was for 2 grams, and happened over 30 years ago.
Even worse, the chances of him obtaining his Super Bowl tickets to begin with were one in four million; Myles Wilkinson gained his tickets through a fantasy football contest, where over four million people attempted to win the same prize.
The simple existence of synthetic marijuana should send a loud message to the public and elected officials. When our policy pushes people to a chemically-laced alternative to a non-lethal plant, simply so that they don’t face arrest for the safer substance, we have a fundamentally flawed law.
For those who may be unaware, synthetic marijuana, commonly referred to by the brand names of Spice and K2, is a mix of dried flowers/herbs which is sprayed with a mix of chemicals that are designed to artificially stimulate the body and brain in a fashion similar to cannabis.
It doesn’t work.
Still, people have continue to use it, despite its potential health risks. In 2010, over 11,000 people were sent to the emergency room over the use of synthetic marijuana. Miscellaneous 78 percent of those were under the age of 30.