In a vast spectrum of reporting that ranged in quotes from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) to the objections from Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), U.S. News released an article titled “Recreational Marijuana: A Business Boon for States?” on the pros and cons of legalization.
The main focuses were the economies in both Colorado, which legalized cannabis in 2012 and Massachusetts, legal since 2016. Big takeaways were that Colorado schools were benefitting from the tax revenues, and, social reform, such as keeping nonviolent “criminals” out of jail for cannabis related offenses, were crucial facets of the legalization movement.
The U.S. News is another mainstream news source in a parade of many to come out with extensive reporting on cannabis, and with good reason. Nine states and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational cannabis, while 30 states and D.C. have medical marijuana laws. Public opinion is overwhelmingly in favor of cannabis related legislature and politicians on both sides of the isle have supportive opinions. Weed can no longer be ignored or poo pooed.
Scientific studies are coming in from around the world, making all the funding the U.S. government put toward negative research look foolish. It’s still nearly impossible to get FDA approval to research cannabis and its effects on our endocannabinoid systems, different diseases, inflammations and more. However, if the study aims to show the negative aspects of impairment, then it is much more likely to be funded and allowed into the annals.
It’s high time that researchers were given the chance to catch up to reporters, who have plenty of facts to work with, but more anecdotal evidence as to maladies than concrete science. Like the Biblical doubting Thomas, some of the hive needs to see in order to believe, and it’s not unreasonable. If the cannabis community were able to back of some of their most ambitious medical claims, they’d not only be adding the most important components to pharmacology to have been discovered in decades, if not ever, they would have definitely made their point.
For now, public education is still expanding, and a lot of the coverage out there is positive. There will still be groups like SAM that want to control the cannabis plant and when and how it’s allowed as long as the remains of pot prohibition stand, but thankfully there will also be groups like NORML as well as the general masses, who quite clearly want their cannabis, the tax revenue it generates and, above all, the justice it means for those who are or would be serving time or losing privileges over an innocuous weed.