A trail of controversy

Controversy follows in its trail. Are you a regular user? Should it be used strictly for medicinal purposes? Is there such a thing as just taking the occasional hit? Are we to believe the tech geniuses of Silicon Valley when they say that it really does heightens your intelligence? Cannabis, this mythical plant that has sparked the creation of entire economies and ruined thousands of lives in the process. Still it continues to be legal in some parts of the world and completely banned in others. It's possible to buy feminised seeds online as well as visit sites such as seedsman, which started in 2003 to sell seeds online as well. Recently there has been a shift in the cannabis debate though and winds of change are blowing. If one takes the U.S. as an example it is possible to detect some serious alterations of regulations concerning buying, consuming, growing and selling cannabis. For instance, Hawaii decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana and other states follow their example. In order to provide a more comprehensive account of how the debate about cannabis has been presented in the USA, it is necessary to start from the beginning.

A chain reaction

No more than two decades ago, marijuana was illegal, regardless of form, in all 50 U.S. states. This is no longer the case as 33 of them now allows the use of marijuana in some form. This chain reaction is cause for some concern according to the states still holding out and continues to enforce strict regulations concerning marijuana. The fairly short time-line in which the alterations of regulations have occurred in terms of legalization of marijuana, has also ignited a spark in the societal debate concerning the subject. Should you, or should you not legalize the use of marijuana? Currently there are two main ways of how the states usually deal with the question of personal use of marijuana. Decriminalization vs. legalization. In the state of Oregon for instance, there are regulations in place which favours decriminalization, i.e. the penalty for using marijuana is not as strict as for instance manufacturing or selling, which is still very much illegal. Legalization on the other hand would not only allow individuals to possess marijuana but it would for all intents and purposes be legal to also produce and sell the drug. Then there is the question of which type of marijuana that should be allowed. At the moment there is a distinction made between the legalization of recreational marijuana and medical cannabis.

Winds of change

When it comes to medical marijuana, 46 states in the U.S. allows this in various forms. For instance, in some states individuals are allowed to use cannabidiol (CBD) or medical cannabis that has a low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content while in other states no such limitations are placed on usage. Then there are states such as the District of Columbia that allows individuals to legally use marijuana for both medical as well as recreational purposes. Although it seems as if the legislation in these states are a bit more relaxed it is still, again, strictly prohibited to deal and grow the drug. Generally speaking, the process of decriminalization marijuana began in 1973 and has seen many milestones since. Perhaps one of the more significant ones was the legalization movement that started around 1996. Some of the most important laws that have been passed along these lines are California's Proposition 215 (1996), Colorado's Amendment 64 (2012), Washington's Initiative 502 (2012), California's Proposition 64 (2016), Vermont's H. 511 (2018). Proponents and opponents continue to go head to head over this issue and unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any truce coming soon as most still argue that the dangers of using marijuana will never be out waged by the potential positive affects it might have for medical purposes.
A revolution?

The laws concerning consumption of marijuana continues to differ among the states and even though there seems to a be a trend pointing in the direction of more and more opting to legalize the substance, nothing is certain. There have been significant shifts in terms of public opinion as well. As from the perspective of law enforcement though, things are still stagnant, but the debate is nowhere near over. Marijuana continues to be a large industry and due to the fact that it still is a criminal offence to possess it in many states, this shadow economy will continue to thrive. With this said, as the public debate is shifting towards a more positive and relaxed attitude, above board investors are starting to look at the industry with different eyes. Suspecting that opportunities will rise, especially in the medical marijuana sector, more and more are looking to invest. Even though there is a discrepancy in terms of different generations opting for various results, it seems that there is a wave of legalization coming in the near future with 10 states including Washington DC spearheading the way. Will it be a full-scale revolution? Only time will tell.