The Ongoing and Inevitable: The Debate for Marijuana Legalization
“Why don’t you just take the high road and bow out gracefully?” is probably what many proponents for legal marijuana would like to say to those trying to thwart or wholly block the legalization of cannabis.
But it would seem that momentum to legalize weed is firmly in place, and only going to pick up steam from here and into the future.
As of March 2015 in the U.S., the States of Colorado, Alaska, Oregon and Washington have legislation in place for the legalization of marijuana, providing cannabis rights and legal protections to adult users (ages 21 and over). The District of Columbia has also gone ahead and made the move to legalize marijuana, now recreationally available for adults who wish to consume cannabis. However, though adults can cultivate up to six marijuana plants for recreational use, there is no provision in D.C.’s laws for recreational commercial cultivation—in other words, the sale of recreational cannabis is still illegal.
Still, the ultimate legalization of marijuana in D.C. demonstrates a powerful trend: public opinion that is open to absorbing marijuana information, support of cannabis rights, and the end of indiscriminate inclusion of marijuana in the War on Drugs.
What is NORML?
Yes, that’s NORML and not normal. Although, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws is a non-profit organization with the goal of legal marijuana in the United States, making use of non-medicinal cannabis a normal (legal) activity. NORML advocates that marijuana users should not be subject to any fine, jail time or other criminal penalty. In pursuing its overall aim for legalization of cannabis, NORML also focuses efforts on marijuana decriminalization.
Norml is based in Washington, D.C., though the organization and its affiliates exist in other countries around the world: NORML Canada, NORML Ireland, NORML New Zealand and NORML UK.
With the legalization of cannabis, marijuana sales and marijuana-based businesses continue to grow in legitimacy (no doubt in large part due to their economic growth potential) and buttress the cause for legalizing marijuana.
Capital Mining in Canada has reinvented itself as Broken Coast Cannabis, to be listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
Federal government regulatory bodies are also stepping up to play a positive role. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it delivered warnings to vendors selling high concentration CBD hemp oil which did not actually contain significant concentrations of the cannabinoid.
Colorado Marijuana versus adjacent States
Colorado marijuana was a banner for many, when in 2012 the State passed ballot initiative Amendment 64, thereby legalizing marijuana. Despite this victory for the legalization of cannabis and Colorado’s ongoing success, there are still not only detractors, but those who are disputing the law.
Sheriffs and prosecutors from States of Nebraska, Kansas and even Colorado itself have filed complaint and formal lawsuit, taking Colorado to court over the discrepancy between state and federal laws on marijuana. Plaintiffs cite that Colorado’s legalization of marijuana puts law enforcement from adjacent States in a tough position when it comes to enforcing their own marijuana laws.
Medical marihuana is available for Canadians since 2001, but is still illegal for recreational purposes. However, this could change in the years ahead as the leader of the Liberal party, Justin Trudeau, is FOR a controlled and regulated system of recreational marijuana. He believes that such a system would make it harder for young Canadians to buy weed and would keep big money away from organized crime and street gangs. “And we free up the justice system and police resources from criminalizing something that honestly is maybe not good for you but shouldn’t be a focus of interfering with adults’ freedom to make their own choices.” The 42nd Canadian federal elections are tentatively scheduled for October 19th 2015, to be followed…