Cannabis Legalisation: The Burning Issue

Jan 16, 17 Cannabis Legalisation: The Burning Issue

Why 2017 Will be a Pivotal Year in the Fight For Cannabis Legalisation.

Increasingly, marijuana is being seen as a beneficial form of self-medication as well as an acceptable means of relaxation and recreation. As we edge ever closer to the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century, experts are hinting that 2017 will be the year in which supporters of cannabis legalisation, with expanded research on their side, push for federal and corporate support.

At the federal level, marijuana is still illegal and is classified as being a Schedule I drug (along with heroin, ecstasy, and LSD). However, it has been said that in 2016, 60% of Americans favoured the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use. Indeed, last year was a pivotal one for the weed industry. Significant steps were taken towards solidifying the market, potential earnings were demonstrated, and stigmas tied to consumption were, in some cases, debunked. Colorado, it was pointed out, received total revenue of $72.8 million in cannabis taxes, fees, and licenses thanks to its legalisation of the product.

Having said that, there were also set-backs. Although Donald Trump has indicated that he is in favour of states’ rights and the use of marijuana for medical applications, he is nevertheless going to nominate Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions – who is famously against cannabis legalisation and has described it as ‘a real danger’ – as the next US Attorney General.

As we move into 2017, though, experts argue that legalisation is edging ever-closer. According to research firm Cannabiz Media’s recent report on marijuana licenses, the cannabis industry has, at the time of writing, 2,966 medical dispensaries and 3,973 retailers across the US, with more than 4,200 marijuana cultivators. So, while there are clearly some teething problems which must be overcome, the industry still set looks to grow, mature, and increase its impact this year.

The Beautiful Herb

As more people witness the beauty, fewer users will be seen as the beast.

For those interested, a couple of trends worth keeping an eye on. First, the push towards US federal acceptance. Just before the election of November 8th, Adam Bierman, CEO of MedMen, a cannabis management services company, told MarketWatch that the industry would continue to attempt to push back at the federal barrier in 2017, regardless of the outcome of the presidential election. Second, research will be expanded, and particular attention will be placed on cannabis’s effects and its genetic make-up. This research, it is believed, will help the industry to prove that cannabis is not only less harmful than opponents have argued, but also that is has various health benefits.

While the Drug Enforcement Administration declined to reschedule cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act back in August, it did grant easier access for research, thereby increasing the number of manufacturers who are authorised to supply the product to researchers. This, it may be said, illustrates the DEA’s commitment to helping facilitate research that concerns marijuana and its components.

Whatever the year has in store for the legalities surrounding marijuana breeding, use, and cultivation, it is certainly apparent that we are moving towards a more accepting culture as regards the application and ownership of this remarkable plant for personal use. For all the latest news on the subject, keep checking the GYO site – and let us know your opinion on the issue!

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