When Illinois democrats got up to debate Wednesday on who is to become the next governor, legalizing cannabis was a hot issue. Not whether to legalize it, but who wanted to legalize it the most. One candidate even called for full decriminalization.
So, if Illinois goes blue in 2018, there’s a great chance that they’ll be among the next few rounds of states to go green, too.
This is just another bit of proof in the pudding that cannabis is no longer taboo, in fact, it’s getting to be pretty much mainstream. Even Kathy Bates tried her hand at pot comedy in the Netflix sitcom “Disjointed.” There are examples everywhere, perhaps the most convincing the 29 states plus the District of Columbia going the green route.
This shift in not only policy, but outlook is not to be taken lightly. The War on Drugs has claimed many lives, including in the way of incarceration, and ingesting cannabis had naught to do with any of the deaths and quite a bit to do with the incarcerations.
In 2016, a Gallup Poll showed 60 percent of Americans in favor of legalization. It’s hard to get 60 percent of our nation to agree on most politicized issues out there, but especially something so sensitive as a plant that’s been labeled a drug and scheduled as being a high potential for abuse and with no medical benefits.
In 2018, five states are primed to go the legal road and as more legislation is introduced, more states are going to be joining the bandwagon. It only makes sense.
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All the fears over all the years that legalization would bring devastation to our country have been debunked and studies show that after Colorado went legal, youth usage did not go up, neither did traffic fatalities. And in Washington, crime went down post-legalization.
In what was not a surprise to the cannabis community, but perhaps to its opponents, cannabis has also shown itself to be a warrior in the opioid epidemic. Cannabis is known to be a treatment for chronic pain and studies show that people reduce and even stop their opiate use when also utilizing cannabis. Many doctors balk at the idea of mixing medicines, even to the betterment of their patients, but the times are changing and cannabis is winning.
Will it win in Illinois? Well, if it does, Illinois would be the winner. With fiscal concerns that would be helped by cannabis taxes and revenues and the fewer arrests, trials and incarcerations to deal with and spend money on, we hope the answer is yes.