Marijuana Legalization Is Happening Across the Country. Before we get into the thick of the fast-track to legalization happening across the country, let's get into the basics of legal weed. Despite protests from policy experts, medical professionals and dedicated activists across the country, the federal government continues to classify marijuana as a list 1 narcotic. The Drug Enforcement Administration defines this class of substances as “drugs without currently accepted medical use and with a high potential for abuse,” a phrase that objectively does not describe marijuana.
But despite the federal government's intransigence, it seems that more and more Americans don't take Reefer Madness as a gospel. In late February, New Jersey legislators passed laws that will govern the legal sale of marijuana for adult use in the Garden State. The legislation came after voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum last November, as did their peers in four others. A handful of other states across the country have already legalized and decriminalized the drug for recreational and medical use, suggesting that voters have changed their minds about whether marijuana is an entry drug and whether people deserve to go to jail for possession.
For parents of older teens, legalization for adults 21 and older is positive at a time when young adults can have their entire careers, lives, and educational futures derailed if caught with a gram of weed on them. This is particularly true for people of color and particularly for black people, who are arrested for possession at a rate four times that of white people, even though consumption rates are about the same. Marijuana has been minimally studied, so the health and safety ramifications of legalization are not fully understood because it is difficult to study a drug that is illegal at the federal level. Data so far are very limited on issues such as the effect of public health on adolescents.
But it does seem that prohibition tends to be an inadequate public health response to drug use, and that legalization and decriminalization can help eliminate the taboo on a drug, increase the amount of research on the safety of that drug, and help people access that drug with a lower risk, since Honestly, I will buy it no matter how legal or illegal it is. Research has proven time and again that increasing safe access to potentially harmful substances, rather than restricting access and incarcerating those struggling with substance abuse problems, can help reduce the risk of death, illness and addiction. Still, like any substance, it's important that if you live in a state that has legalized marijuana, you keep your marijuana locked up, stored and out of the sight and reach of your children. It's also important, like alcohol, not to use the drugs that surround your children because of the mental, emotional, and social effects, along with the largely unknown physical health effects.
Marijuana can be purchased at a dispensary with a valid state-issued card in these states, although not all of them have retail establishments operating yet. Some of them also allow patients to harvest a limited amount of their own herb for personal use, and all have also decriminalized marijuana and established medical cannabis programs. Decriminalizing marijuana generally means that there will be no arrests, imprisonment, or criminal records for first-time offenders who find themselves in possession of a small amount of marijuana. Repeat or more serious offenders may face more severe penalties, but simple possession charges in these states are generally treated as minor traffic violations.
The sale of marijuana remains illegal in states that have only decriminalized it. States that have enacted medical marijuana laws allow patients with specific medical diagnoses to receive a recommendation from a doctor that they can use to obtain a medical marijuana card, which allows them to purchase cannabis at dispensaries and, in some states, grow their own marijuana at home. California Medical Marijuana Laws Colorado Medical Marijuana Laws Connecticut Medical Marijuana Laws Illinois Medical Marijuana Laws Maine State Legislature, “Recreational Marijuana in Maine, legislature, maine, gov (consulted. New Mexico, Virginia and Connecticut have also recently legalized cannabis for adults, while Alabama has authorized medical marijuana.
The bill was supported by nearly 60% of Arizona voters. Arizona launched adult sales faster than any other state that voted to approve recreational cannabis in the November election. Companies already operating in the state's medical market had a first chance with recreational customers. Residents and tourists 21 and older can purchase up to 1 ounce of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrates.
Some Colorado Counties and Cities Have Passed More Restrictive Laws. Illinois is one of the few states to legalize the sale of marijuana through the state legislature, rather than a voting initiative. Medical marijuana is legal and, at the end of January, there were just over 11,000 patients in the state, although there are a limited number of dispensaries and personal cultivation is prohibited. A cannabis dispensary differs from similar retail stores known as head shops, in that only state-licensed cannabis dispensaries are allowed to sell cannabis.
Fourteen dispensaries have opened statewide since then, but don't expect adult marijuana in the near future. Church stands firm against recreational use of basically any substance, including marijuana. . .