How Close is Marijuana to Being Legal?
We are not far from a time when marijuana will be legal. It has already passed a ballot initiative in Colorado and dispensaries should be open in the early 2022. But what’s the next step? Is it as difficult as some say? Read on to find out. Currently, the state of Kentucky is the only one where marijuana isn’t illegal. However, the Democrat-controlled governor has said it’s time to legalize the drug for medical purposes. buffalo ny medical marijuana card
It’s unclear when the federal government will decide to decriminalize marijuana, but there are other measures pending that can make it so. The first of these proposals, the MORE Act, opens the door to a more accepting attitude toward the drug on a federal level. Despite its long road, the bill and other marijuana reform proposals show that attitudes towards cannabis are slowly changing. The marijuana law passed in 1937 is one example of how marijuana has become a scapegoat for racism.
Some states, however, are making the marijuana market more accessible. For example, Colorado and California allow adults to possess two ounces of marijuana for personal use, while New York allows up to six plants per person. But these measures don’t go far enough. While the federal government’s marijuana policies are a step in the right direction, states should continue to implement legislation that makes it easier for businesses to operate legally in their state.
Several states have also passed their own marijuana laws. The legislatures of New York and Connecticut passed legislation in April 2019 that legalized cannabis possession for adults over 21. Meanwhile, the legislature of Washington State passed Senate Bill 5605, which allows for the expungement of marijuana convictions. The legislation was signed into law by the Governor of the state in March of 2021. The cannabis laws aren’t yet legal in California, but they’re moving in the right direction.
While many states have decriminalized marijuana and have medical cannabis laws in place, only South Dakota has a full-blown legalization law. Decriminalization is seen as a middle ground between full legalization and a strict drug policy that has disproportionately affected communities of color. A growing percentage of American citizens want recreational marijuana legal. A CBS News/YouGov poll revealed that nearly two-thirds of Americans aged fifty and older support legalization.
Although the federal government still has a long way to go, cannabis legalization has been gaining momentum in states like New Jersey and Illinois. In 2010, Governor John Corzine signed a medical marijuana law. However, the Republican Governor Chris Christie stymied the medical marijuana initiative in 2011 by limiting the number of qualifying conditions and putting a barrier in the way of legalization. Despite these challenges, the new governor expanded the medical marijuana law and now there are roughly a dozen marijuana dispensaries in the state that serve the roughly 100,000 registered patients.
The federal government may be eager to legalize marijuana, as it is an excellent source of tax revenue. During the 2020-2021 fiscal year, the state of California collected $817 million in tax revenue from adult-use marijuana. Massachusetts’ marijuana taxes outpaced alcohol sales for the same period. However, the Supreme Court struck down the amendment in South Dakota in 2020. If the Supreme Court approves it, the process could take even longer.