by Angel Ferrer 4 min read
The legalization of cannabis has been a subject of hot debate for decades. Although it is still illegal at the federal level, 33 states and counting have some form of approved legal use of cannabis. While a number of states stick to allowing medical use only, other states have moved to decriminalize cannabis use within certain guidelines, or have legalized it for recreational use altogether.
Asa an innovative thought leader in the space, the first state to legalize cannabis was Colorado. With the passing of Amendment 64, cannabis was fully legalized for recreational use within the borders of CO. On the medical level, it had been legal for the last twelve years in this state.
While medical patients with certain conditions have been allowed to possess up to two ounces for a few years already, non-medical consumers can now:
Tourists can consume cannabis while in Colorado but fall under the jurisdiction of other states as they travel. This may mean that any possession outside of Colorado becomes illegal.
*Keep in mind that laws and legislation are always in a constant state of flux. As such you should always do your own research for the jurisdiction you live in to make sure you are in compliance.
Colorado sets a good example for other states, the federal government, and global governments alike. This state has shown that legalization can be successfully passed and implemented without the often blown out of proportion negative consequences usually cited, and that taxed cannabis can lead to wonderful improvements for the community at large. In fact, tax dollars from cannabis are being shuttled into enhancing infrastructure, public aid systems, education and more.
Other benefits of legalization include:
Cannabis is a popular substance for medicinal and recreational use that warrants more study. Legalization would allow for this study to be possible.
With the right framework in place, legalization can be a wonderful thing.
There are many ways that legalization can benefit citizens, the states, and the federal government. Nations around the world are watching Colorado and other states to see how legalization turns out.
Legalization is not just about allowing people to use cannabis. It is about improving the lives of citizens, as well.
Cannabis-related tax revenue has topped $226 million in the state. Some of this has gone to improving schools. Other funds have gone to regulating the use of marijuana and educating others about the substance.
Although it is impossible to control every situation, government regulation of the cannabis industry reduces negative effects.
Steps have also been taken to label products containing THC, as well as eliminate advertising to children.
As with any attempt to regulate a part of life, Colorado has encountered issues with its legislation. By being the first to take these steps, however, it provides a basis that others can improve on.
As more legislation is created around cannabis, other governments can observe what works and what does not work before creating their own legislation around the substance.
Although more study is necessary to determine the full effects of legalization over time, the evidence so far is encouraging. One of the main barriers currently is the refusal of the federal government to legalize cannabis at the federal level.
Once this barrier has been removed, states can continue to exercise rights at a local level while removing the current contradictions. Colorado has shown that cannabis can be legalized, used responsibly, and bring hope to the economy.
Colorado took the first brave step to legalize cannabis and show the world there is nothing to fear. It is time to celebrate this courage and imitate it elsewhere.
Yes, sign me up for marketing emails from Hemper. You can change your mind anytime by unsubscribing.