If you are thinking of legalizing cannabis, here’s a quick review of the history of cannabis laws. The laws against marijuana have changed a lot since the late nineteenth century. You’ll learn about the rise of the marijuana industry, how medical marijuana became legal, and how legalization has impacted the lives of people of color.
Marijuana laws in the late nineteenth century
During the late nineteenth century, marijuana was often considered a dangerous drug. Several states enacted laws against the sale and possession of cannabis products, and the federal government instituted the Federal Bureau of Narcotics in 1930. The Bureau was created to enforce laws against the sale of marijuana, opium, and coca plants. It was headed by Harry J. Anslinger, who was a supporter of Prohibition and opposed marijuana’s use.
Many states implemented cannabis laws during the late nineteenth century, including those in the eastern United States. These laws were a reaction to the growing reputation of marijuana as a dangerous drug. But these laws were not strictly against the drug. At the same time that states began to restrict the sale of cannabis, rumblings about illegal Mexican marijuana were heard. By the middle of the century, states were still enforcing the state laws and regulating a wide range of substances.
Cannabis was not widespread in the late nineteenth century, but druggists were familiar with the plant and its preparations. In addition to this, the marijuana plant was also grown for its hemp fiber. However, cannabis leaf smoking was not widespread in the United States until the early twentieth century. Mexican immigrants introduced the practice to the United States.
In the early twentieth century, marijuana was considered a dangerous drug. However, it is now extremely popular and is used by hundreds of thousands of people across the country. It is estimated that one third of Americans have experimented with marijuana at least once. Several presidents of the United States have also indulged in it at some point in their lives. The drug is even considered harmless fun in popular culture, so much so that talk show hosts can make fun of it on cable television.
Legalization of medical marijuana
Although the legalization of marijuana is still not widespread in the United States, there is still widespread public support for it. For instance, Louisiana has made it easier for those suffering from various ailments to use THC products. Though progress has been slow, the state legislature is taking meaningful steps toward medical marijuana legalization.
Many states have already made progress through the legislative process, but it has taken several attempts to get the measure passed. Some of these efforts failed, while others have succeeded. For example, New Mexico and Connecticut failed to pass legal marijuana legislation during their previous legislative sessions. However, in 2019, New Mexico’s Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham formed a Cannabis Legalization Working Group to try to pass cannabis legalization legislation.
The goal of the bill is to make medical marijuana accessible to those who need it. This includes the homegrowing of bubba kush seeds and other cannabis strains for medical use.The state plans to add opioid use to the list of qualifying conditions. However, marijuana use will remain a misdemeanor. As a result, it remains illegal for recreational purposes in most states.
The marijuana industry has also made efforts to address issues related to social equity. Colorado has created a Cannabis Business Office that provides financial and technical assistance to social equity licensees. Washington has also established a Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force. The Task Force aims to make recommendations on issues related to social equity.
Impact of legalization on people of color
While the recent decriminalization of marijuana in Washington, DC has led to a decrease in arrests, the disparities remain in the criminal justice system. Black people are 1.72 times more likely to be arrested for possession than whites, and these disparities persist even in states that have legalized marijuana. This trend in arrests warrants further study.
The high arrest rate of marijuana users is a major barrier to economic opportunity in communities of color. In many states, the marijuana industry does not include African Americans, despite their high rates of marijuana use. But cannabis advocates warn that black Americans are missing a lucrative business opportunity. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, legal cannabis sales in the United States resulted in $52.5 million in tax revenue in 2016.
The study aimed to examine racial and ethnic specific associations with cannabis outcomes. The study also included age-stratified analyses. The results indicated that enacting RCLs increased the prevalence of cannabis use among non-Hispanic Black and older adults, as well as among those aged 21 and older. However, the increase in prevalence was not seen among non-Hispanic Black individuals, nor among those who used marijuana on a daily basis.
The study also looked at changes in use and disorders among people of color in different states after the legalization of marijuana. In most states, marijuana use has increased among non-Hispanic whites, while it has decreased among non-Hispanic Blacks. It also showed no significant differences between non-Hispanic Whites and non-Hispanic Black people, particularly those who are younger.