The Liberal government in Canada has announced that 1 year from now, some time during next spring in 2017 they will introduce a law to legalize recreational use of the plant. Details on limits and who can produce and distribute the drug have not been released yet. However, this obviously would be a nationwide law that would take effect in all 10 Canadian provinces. This would be a huge step in the right direction and would also mean that the United States is way behind with their slow state by state progress. The approach in Canada seems to be much better and will have more of a positive impact on the amount of people being arrested anywhere across the northern country.
One of the main reasons for this breaking news is the election of Justin Trudeau as the new Prime Minister. Legalizing marijuana was a huge campaign focus and ultimately helped lead him to a political victory. Before him, the previous Prime Minister had zero intentions of changing the draconian laws on marijuana. One change in leadership and there appears to be a very bright future for the economy and criminal justice system coming.
So where does the United States stand? Well currently for recreational legalization, there are only 4 states out of 50 that allow personal possession/consumption to an extent without legal ramifications. If you are unable to obtain a medical marijuana license due to the lack of an “acceptable” medical condition in the 24 states that offer medical marijuana programs, you’re shit out of luck and looking at a dim future if caught. Clearly, the lawmakers and voters are not on the same page and policy is way behind the will of the voters. There hasn’t been any announcement of nationwide legalization even though most people think that it is inevitable. My personal opinion is that Canada will beat us by a mile because the DEA and other industries have to much profit to lose from freeing the weed and all the people serving nonsense sentences for it. There is just simply to much lobbying and misinformation going around and it will continue to take time to undo the damage from this.
I plan on seeing it legal nationwide within the next five years. I also said that 5 years ago, so who knows how long they can drag it out. The U.S. started making medical marijuana and recreational reform first, but it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish!
Within the past week there has been a lot of buzz about the possibility of this year finally being the year of at least a federal rescheduling of the drug. Following a recent smoke out Saturday at the White House supporting the veteran movement, there was also news that the DEA sent a lengthy memo to lawmakers claiming it hopes to decide whether to change the scheduling of the drug by this July. The only result for this is has to be the enormous pressure they are now feeling as more and more people are educated on how messed up the war on drugs has been. It’s been dragged out longer than anyone thought possible.
I think that it’s something to definitely look out for but this is far from the first time there has been talk of rescheduling with no action being taken. The data and information has been out there that it has medical purposes, but this agency has been able to deny science in the name of enormous profits and police budgets that they have become so dependent on. The time will come when a large majority of people will catch on to the profitable and devastating effects the prohibition of this plant has been. There is definitely some of that going on this year, thanks to the legalization of marijuana in 4 states already and people are taking notice. Those states are seeing lower crime rates and most importantly, no ones going to jail for a personal harmless choice. The possibility that 2016 is the year it is at least acknowledged officially for its medical uses and taken off the list of dangerous drugs is definitely there. The DEA will have to listen to other associations like the AMA who are even recommending a rescheduling now. This would be a huge victory for proponents of medical marijuana and give protections immediately to thousands of patients from federal prosecution. The current scheduling is the only reason for the federal raids and pretty much justifies everything they do to enforce it. Sick people need their medicine and they may finally be left alone and treated like the legitimate patients that they are.
Show your support for rescheduling by sharing/commenting about this post.
When you look at the state of Michigan currently and think its somewhat reasonable with it’s cannabis laws because it allows for the medical use with a doctors recommendation, I’d say you’re partially right. It was a huge step in the right direction and provided criminal protections for those who needed it. However there is no way for you to obtain it unless you can grow it yourself or know someone who can for you. I think that these options should be available but the legal options stop there. Not everybody has the ability or time to produce their own medicine and often need instant relief. Also, not every sick person has an experienced grower who has been growing it since the time it was illegal. There is no where for someone to safely access their medicine in a public setting. This makes people turn to black market dealers who have no interest in registering in the system to provide their legal medicine. There is absolutely no reason for this and the ones that do try to set up in the grey area of the law as “compassion centers” often get shut down and/or raided.
These are serious problems that need to be fixed to have a truly effective medical marijuana program in the state of Michigan. As far as not being a medical user, you get a permanent criminal record that you would otherwise never have if it was decriminalized, and at the very least face fines. If your’e a student like myself, you will not be eligible for any financial aid either. It’s also very possible you could face jail time or be pressured into becoming a confidential informant and risking your life. All for using a plant that grows from the ground. This year there is hopes of seeing a measure on the ballot to legalize cultivation and possession of the plant but without enough educated voters, it will never pass.
Have you ever been a victim of the war on marijuana? Have you been harassed by police for being a medical user in possession? They often try to prosecute for bullshit improper carrying violations and suspecting intoxication. Share your stories below!