Marijuana in America has been moving full steam ahead for the past couple of years. Both our view on weed, and it’s legal status have evolved much quicker than I’d ever anticipated.
I don’t think I’m alone in thinking this. Public opinion generally takes years and years, sometimes even decades to swing in a new direction, but pot has managed to make the leap in no time at all.
Over the past 4 years public polling has show that the majority of America has moved from viewing marijuana as unfavorable, to now favorable. Although the exact data and polling is a bit fishy, the sentiment is there, that we are seeing weed in a different light.
Our personal views aside, weed is changing in the legal perspective just as fast. 27 states have some form of legal protection for marijuana use, including: recreational, medical and decriminalized marijuana:
That being said, marijuana is still illegal federally, which technically makes the above map a pretty murky mess. Some people think that the feds can pull the rug out from under the states at any moment. (My personal view is that the federal government is using state legalization as a test bed for the best possible national policy, working out kinks on a smaller scale before making any laws that effect all 50 states.)
So for me, the question isn’t will the federal government legalize weed, but when and how?
According to a piece in the Washington Post this week, a few high profile senators have proposed what seems to many to be the future of marijuana in this country. Although the bill is not expected to pass, it’s sure to be the framework used in the coming years to legalize marijuana nationwide.
Here are 5 key provisions in the bill:
1Under the bill, marijuana would be downgraded one level in the Drug Enforcement Agency’s five-category drug classification system. It is currently treated, along with heroin, LSD, and ecstasy, as a Schedule 1 drug—those deemed by the DEA to have “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” The bill would reclassify it as a Schedule 2 drug, joining cocaine, OxyContin, Adderall and Ritalin.
2The bill would also make it easier to transport some forms of the drug between states. While medical marijuana is allowed in 23 states and D.C., another dozen states allow the drug on a much more limited basis. Those states typically allow restricted access to medicine derived from cannabis strains with low levels of THC, the drug’s primary psychoactive component, and high levels of CBD, which is believed to have medicinal benefits. But patients often have no way of accessing such drugs. The bill would therefore remove some CBD strains, used to treat epilepsy and seizure disorders, from the federal definition of marijuana.
3The bill would also make it easier for banks to provide services to the marijuana industry as they do to any other.
4It would reform the process by which private researchers can get access to medical marijuana.
5And it would allow doctors working for the Department of Veterans Affairs in states where medical marijuana is legal to recommend it for certain conditions.
Personally, I think this will be the path forward for pot in America, and that is is only a matter of time before marijuana in legal nationwide. So what do we do about this? How does the treatment industry fit in with all this?
Well, I think the eduation, through both prevention and awareness and really important. I also think that education the general public on the dangers, risks and option for getting help is very important.
How do you feel about all this? Do you think legal marijuana is coming sooner or later? Let me know what you think in the comments below.