Meet The Unlikely Advocates Of Cannabis Legalisation
A brief look on some of the world’s most unlikely advocates of cannabis legalization and their motives.
The issues of cannabis and the laws surrounding is a very debated issue all around the world. As medical uses for cannabis are being found and tested constantly the previously accepted positions on cannabis having a severely negative influence on the individual and the society are slowly being abandoned. It seems that with each day cannabis legalizations gains more supporters, as it is becoming more socially acceptable to enjoy cannabis even recreationally. Nevertheless, it is still a very polarizing issue and just how the situation is changing is best observed in the case of the United States of America.
When it comes to the USA cannabis is still widely banned by law, in fact by federal law, it is forbidden to possess any amount of cannabis for medical or recreational use. Those laws are superseded by state laws. It is state laws that have been slowly changing for over 50 years now. With some states opting for the decriminalization of cannabis, some legalizing medical cannabis and, more recently, some are legalizing even the recreational use of cannabis. Medical cannabis has been legalized in 20 states and in 4 additional states recreational use has also been legalized. The process is rapidly accelerating so that in 2015 there have been over 50 legislative initiatives considering the use of cannabis. Some polls show that a majority of citizens (52%) are for nationwide legalization, but a critical mass of supporters for such an act is yet to be achieved. It is exactly why vocal supporters of cannabis might be more important today than ever before, as raising awareness and providing a shift in perception is exactly what is needed for their cause.
As the number of cannabis supporters in the USA is increasing unlikely advocates begin to emerge giving further legitimacy to the cause, as they show how the movement is all-encompassing and not limited to certain subcultures. Further in the article, we present some of them.
If there is a group in society looked down upon for the use of marijuana it is most certainly a mother. Such ideas come from the fact that marijuana users are perceived as irresponsible and generally bad role models.
Well, there are certainly those mothers who disagree, they believe that cannabis actually makes them better moms as they feel calmer, more patient, even optimistic and open for fun activities. All those traits are certainly those of good parents.
Amongst a large number of cannabis supporting groups, one certainly stands out. The Beverly Hills “Marijuana Moms” believe they are making marijuana classy. They enjoy a luxury spin on marijuana use as a private chef prepares lavish cannabis infused dishes for their gourmet dinners.
Their goal is to change the perception of an average cannabis user. To quote one of their members: “We’ve come up against people who say marijuana is for dirty druggies, but we are proof you can be good parents and productive members of society and use it.”
Military veterans, particularly those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have received some good news in May of 2016, as Congress voted to lift the federal ban on medical cannabis. Both the House and Senate approved measures to block the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) from enforcing its rule that prohibits its doctors from even discussing the treatment.
According to the results of the 7th annual membership survey of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of American (IAVA), 68 percent of veterans say that medical cannabis should be legal, and 75 percent believe that VA physicians should be able to recommend marijuana therapy to eligible patients.
Veterans are celebrating the development since they may soon be able to get access to medical cannabis. There has been a lot of anecdotal evidence within their community that medical cannabis offers a natural and less addictive alternative to mainstream prescription drugs, especially painkillers. Marijuana has been told to help with conditions like PTSD, anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain.
There has always been an ill relationship between the police and the casual marijuana users. After all, police are the one putting stoners in cuffs and behind bars, and law enforcement has a long history of lobbying against marijuana policy reform. It is exactly why most people wouldn’t think about the police when thinking about marijuana legalization supporters.
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), which describes itself as "a group of police, judges, prosecutors and other criminal justice professionals advocating for marijuana legalization” is breaking those stereotypes and giving a fresh insight on how the most critical law enforcement thinks.
In their words: "LEAP is committed to ending decades of failed marijuana policies that have damaged the lives of countless Americans and their families, slowed the justice system at every level, and eroded trust between communities and police."
The largest organization of doctors in America is the American Medical association and their official viewpoint is that they condone the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. A break from such attitudes provides a newly formed organization named Doctors for Cannabis Regulation. So far the group consists of 50 well established and reputable physicians and their mission is to call on states and the federal government to legalize and regulate recreational use of marijuana in the interest of public health.
They argue that the prohibition does more harm than good and that as is the case with alcohol and tobacco substance abuse should be handled as a health issue, not a criminal one. They feel that through daily immersion in anecdotal patient experience and the growing scientific evidence, knowledgeable American physicians must realize the following:
• Use of cannabis by healthy adults is generally benign, making its prohibition unnecessary.
• Cannabis is far less harmful to adults than alcohol and tobacco, which are both legal because of the impracticality of prohibiting so-called "soft" drugs.
• Cannabis can be harmful to minors, but prohibition doesn’t prevent children and teens from accessing the drug.
• The burden of cannabis prohibition falls disproportionately upon communities of color and the nation’s poor.
In the wake of California’s initiative legalize recreational use of cannabis for those over 21, head of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten voiced her acceptance of personal use of cannabis saying: "Everything in moderation is pretty much fine" but also adding: "I don't condone children using marijuana, or any other illegal drug, just as I don't condone underage drinking. And should marijuana become legal, I believe it should remain off-limits and illegal for children."
As it to be expected her opinion is not widely accepted amongst the teaching community as most teachers feel that marijuana would be just another substance along with alcohol, tobacco and other intoxicants that are already too available and harmful to the youth they strive to teach.
Written by: Guest Writer
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