The legalization of cannabis consumption for recreational use may have seemed like an unachievable pipedream just a few years ago, but now it appears to be all but inevitable.
Next year will mark the twentieth anniversary of the passing of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 in the state of California, which is where the road to legalizing cannabis for medicinal dedications across the nation began.
At present, there’s 35 states that have passed some form of medical cannabis-related legislation. In addition, there are nearly 75 pieces of cannabis law reform legislation around the country that are now being debated by legislators at the state level–varying from right to use for medicinal purposes to the cultivation of hemp for industrial use to the decriminalization of small amounts of cannabis to fully legalizing the plant for recreational consumption.
In 2012, the majority of residents in the states of Colorado and Washington voted to pass Amendment 64 and Initiative 502, which introduced the country to legalized cannabis consumption for adults age 21 and older.
More recently, residents in Oregon and Alaska decided to jump on the proverbial recreational cannabis legalization bandwagon by voting to pass legislation of their own in 2014 that allows adults to consume the plant recreationally without fear of being prosecuted by local law enforcement agencies.
And what may be the most inspiring of all to those of us advocating for reform of our current cannabis laws, is the passing of legislation to de-penalize the possession and consumption of cannabis for adults in our nation’s capital. I mean let’s face it, folks, the District of Columbia is essentially the POTUS’ backyard.
It seems that if we can change minds there, we can change them just about anywhere, right? Especially when you take into consideration the fact that every national poll, including the oldest social survey data set, now points out that a majority of Americans want to see a reforming of the laws concerning cannabis consumption for any use, whether it be recreational, medicinal or spiritual.
The tides are slowly but surely shifting in favor of cannabis law reform on a national basis with every new piece of legislation that successfully traverses the gauntlet of legislative analysis. For all intents and purposes it’s irrefutable. The reforming of our nation’s existing laws regarding cannabis consumption will come to pass in our lifetimes.
I know I never imagined that the so-called “domino effect” would actually ever transpire in my era, so to see states lining up to be the next to legalize the consumption of cannabis in some form is quite encouraging to say the least.
If you’re one of those unlucky cannabis consumers that is stuck in a state without any form of legalization or decriminalization just try to exercise a little patience, my fellow toker. Because the wave of cannabis legalization is washing across the nation at a pregnant pace and you’ll be soaking wet with legalized weed before you know it.
Hang tough, tokers! It’s just a matter of time.