Feels good, doesn’t it? The feeling that comes after inhaling the THC from a joint of cannabis. Basically, every part of your body is heightened and you can’t help but feel on top of the world. At this point, most people would say they are high. Nothing will get you down. You are probably thinking to yourself that marijuana is nature’s best bounty to humanity. But why smoke in secrecy? Why not share nature’s gift in public? Oh, that’s right. You might just find yourself suffering huge fines or worse, get behind bars. It seems not everybody is happy with you smoking cannabis, huh?
The question on the legalization of weed remains to be one of uncertainty. More and more people are coming out every day with arguments on why weed should or shouldn’t be legal. While some are ready to welcome the drug, why is the other side so hell-bent on seeing cannabis scrapped from existence?
The History of Cannabis in The United States
If your grandparents loved hitting the joint back in the day, and even if they didn’t for that matter, the name Harry Anslinger (1929) would sound familiar to them. From the department of prohibition, Harry was keen on getting answers about the use of Cannabis, thus prompting him to seek clarity from 30 leading scientists on the dangers of the drug. 29 of them found it not to be harmful. However, Mr. Anslinger decided to only present the one scientist with different results to the crowd.
This caused 29 states ruling against the legalization of weed between 1916 and 1931. The Congress and the Narcotics Control Act of 1956 saw federal governments increase marijuana-related punishments. Cannabis possession became an offense punishable by jail time of 2-10 years or a fine of up to $20,000. Talk about one man changing the course of things. Well, not for long.
In the 1960’s, the federal government went soft as the white, upper-middle-class scholars entered the picture. Congress later held the Marijuana TAX act as unconstitutional and passed The Controlled Substances Act of 1970. As of 2014, 28 states had legalized weed for medical use. Colorado and Washington led the pack in legalizing recreational marijuana. Between 2014 and 2016, six other states followed suit: Alaska, Oregon, Maine, California, Massachusetts, and Nevada.
Why is Cannabis Illegal in Some Parts of The US?
It seems that everyone wants their slice of the pie when it comes to the legalization of weed. The head lawyer in the country, Jeff Sessions has more or less made it his life’s purpose to ensure you don’t get your occasional hit off the bong. From political to economic reasons, various dignitaries have put their best foot forward to ensure cannabis remains illegal. Here’s why:
Marijuana Happens to be Addictive for Some People
According to Dr. Drew Pinsky, weed addiction varies from person to person. While alcohol and cocaine are addictive, pot has hit new heights of dependency. Of 7.3 million drug addicts, 4.3 million rely on marijuana only. Even in Amsterdam where the law upholds the legalization of weed, the alarming rates of addicted students has led to a ban on the flower in schools.
Wealthy Industrialists Have Continued to Push for the Illegitimacy of Cannabis
In a propaganda of sales, the legalization of weed would mean an increase in production of marijuana and hemp products. This would undermine their huge profits as sales would drop as a result of increased supply.
For a dream that appears so far-fetched, efforts to legalize cannabis continue, with more supporters pushing for weed reforms. The pros likely to come with these alterations include:
Legal Cannabis Generates New Jobs
Illegal as it is, the cannabis industry is bigger than the average enterprise. How much bigger would it get upon legalization? How many more job opportunities could be created for thousands of unemployed Americans?
Weed can be Taxed
Like alcohol and cigarettes, weed will certainly not be exempted from levy and in large amounts at such. That also means a growing economy is inevitable.
Legalization Could Reduce Crime
You no longer have to smoke in secrecy. Legalization of weed would mean a waive of all marijuana-related offenses. Thousands of Americans would avoid all collateral effects affiliated with a criminal record. Also, law enforcement would be free to deal with other more serious crimes.
While 30 states have legalized medicinal marijuana, the other 20 refuse to open up to what might be a revolutionary step in curing illnesses such as cancer. All plants are considered healers and cannabis isn’t any different. Indeed, a lot of patients live on a dose of marijuana and are doing quite fine. Legalization of weed would influence medicine.
The Future of Cannabis legalization in the US
Those of you who are die-hard smokers can smile now, seeing the end of the tunnel just got brighter. Wins in Washington and Colorado have set a pace for other states seeking to follow in the same footsteps. A poll by Bloomberg shows 58% of Americans think the US will legalize cannabis in all 50 states within the next 20 years. 26% think it will happen in 10. Furthermore, lawmakers in 17 states have initiated measures to legalize recreational pot.
In conclusion, the debate on legalization of weed is far from over. With each side at its bloom, you can only expect more slideshows. However, it’s worth noting that legitimization correlates with age. With generation x retiring, younger citizens will soon be able to rewrite the law as they please.