We’ve heard 2020 described as “unprecedented” since the onset of the pandemic sent us lurching forward, ready or not, into an uncharted chapter of human history. While many record-breaking, unfamiliar and otherwise unexpected circumstances of the past year weren’t exactly positive, there were still a few wins worth celebrating. This is especially for the cannabis legalization movement. Last November, four U.S. states – Arizona, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota – voted to legalize cannabis for recreational adult use. A fifth state – Mississippi – legalized cannabis as a treatment option for approved medical conditions. This means that thirty-six states and the District of Colombia have now legalized medical marijuana, with sixteen of these legally granting adult residents aged twenty-one and older the right to recreational use.
Understandably, COVID-19 has complicated the process of legalizing cannabis for states that have yet to do so. While more than two thirds of American States have legalized the sale and use of cannabis for medicinal and/or recreational purposes, others are slower to reach this milestone. While many advocates remain undeterred by obstacles to the legalization process, social distancing has undoubtedly complicated the road to cannabis legalization, creating unique barriers which other U.S. states have not endured. Campaigns in many states have stalled or even stopped for the coming election year – including those in Idaho, Ohio, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Nebraska. While their advocates remain motivated, coronavirus has proven too difficult to navigate, and advocates in these areas have announced their resolution to continue legalization efforts in 2021. However, some states aren’t so easily dismayed by the unexpected virus – Montana is among the states taking serious initiative toward legalization in the coming year.
Earlier this month, members of United States Congress made history with their vote on cannabis-related legislature. By a majority of twenty-four to ten, the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act was approved by the United States House Judiciary Committee. With this vote, members of Congress have moved to federally deschedule marijuana by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act. If the bill can pass the Senate, states will be allowed to make their own rulings regarding cannabis and enforce them at the state level, free of undue complications from overarching federal limits.
Nearly fifteen months remain until the 2020 Presidential election, but the campaign trail’s already heating up with more than a dozen Democratic hopefuls striving to unseat President Donald Trump in his bid for re-election. While we get to know the current candidates and their take on issues dear to us, it’s worth considering their respective takes on cannabis and efforts toward its legalization – both Federally and in states across the nation. It’s time to explore the question on all of our minds – who’s for 420 in 2020? We’ve listed twelve top presidential candidates and detailed their reported stances on marijuana below.
Last Fall, Canada became the second nation in the world (after Uruguay) to federally legalize the possession and recreational use of cannabis amongst its citizens. In its approval of the Cannabis Act, they’ve forged a path that the United States could theoretically follow, should our country reach the threshold for federal legalization. Currently, thirty-three of our fifty states have partially or fully approved the legal use of citizens at a state level. It’s baffling that the use and possession of cannabis, which permitted (to some degree) by laws in two-thirds of our nation’s states, are simultaneously considered felonious at the federal level. This creates a number of difficulties that affect industry workers and imbibers alike.
Some politicians and conservative public figures have spoken out against the rise of cannabis legalization efforts in states across America. While these vocal opponents have made waves in news media, they seem to be the exception in their resistance and not the norm. Recent polls by the NORC at the University of Chicago have shown that 61% percent of Americans are supportive of legalizing cannabis and its derivatives. That’s the highest approval rating since their annual data collection began in 1973. More and more public figures have come forward to support the legislative movement – and to make an easy buck while doing so. Celebrities have overwhelmingly found commercial success in their marijuana-based marketing enterprises – showing that being publicly pro-cannabis can boost one’s social profile. Better yet for weed lovers, for every star who puts out products of their own, the product range at your nearest head shop continues to rise. Here’s a look at five celebrities that are currently capitalizing on cannabis culture.
The American opioid epidemic has damaged and ended countless lives across the nation, disproportionately ravaging communities affected by poverty, economic depression or limited access to social mobility. The lack of sufficient healthcare in many American communities further exacerbates the increasing reliance on prescription painkillers to manage the effects of chronic illnesses – and the inability for users to cease their reliance on addictive painkillers, whether or not the original symptoms remain.
This was recently emailed to us from the City of Denver. We felt it was important to share and encourage everyone affected to take advantage of this program. -Russ
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A few months ago, on 710Pipes we had an article on a groundbreaking proposition that Denver voters passed into action in late 2016. It was called Initiative 300 and it allowed – for the first time ever in US history – a chance for businesses to apply for temporary licenses that would permit public consumption of cannabis in established venues like bars and restaurants. The electoral victory was celebrated enthusiastically by the populous city’s voters, but legislators weren’t satisfied with the outcome. What followed the election was a new series of red tape and publicity stunts that would practically confine the new experiment to only one successful business. Until now.
Late in 2016, Denver, CO became the first city in the United States to approve the consumption of Cannabis in public areas with the passing of a four-year pilot program called Initiative 300. Over 300,000 citizens rolled in – many procrastinating until the final hours (can’t say I’m surprised) – skewing polling results projected during the election. The polls are in – and tourists and renters alike are now celebrating in specifically-allocated venues – but the new laws didn’t come without some opposition and a few guidelines to follow.