The wave of cannabis legalization in the U.S. and North America has taken place at a phenomenal rate during the last couple of years.
However, the journey getting here was not easy. In the last few years, we see a change in opinion toward the herb take root. These changes ultimately resulted in major moves towards the legalization of the substance not only for medical purposes but also for recreational purposes.
Today, during election season, you see almost every Democratic candidate pledging their support to the legalization (of some form) or decriminalization of the drug. In 2016, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) promised reforms in the U.S. justice system by legalizing marijuana if he took office, making him the first major presidential candidate to do so.
Looking back at the last 3 years
Not many states had legalized Cannabis in the year 2017; the few that did were Nevada and Maine. The latter went so far as to allow its residents to carry 2.5 ounces which was almost double the amount than in other states.
In 2018, a number of states in the US decided to shift toward legalization. Such states included Michigan, Vermont, Alaska, California and Maine among others.
In June 2018, Oklahoma voted for the legalization of medical Marijuana and joined the ranks of many more states that opted to do the same. Moreover, Bill C-45 was passed in Canada, making it the biggest country to legalize cannabis. This was a monumental year in Cannabis history and was helpful in helping people figure out the future trajectory it was to take.
The year, 2019 saw the legalization of weed in Illinois whereby the state’s General Assembly passed a Regulation and Tax Act; the bill will be put into effect in 2020.
To really understand the extent of how common the substance intake has become, we see the emergence of “pot shops” in the state of Massachusetts this year.
Not only North America
Steps have been taken toward the legalization of cannabis not only in North America but also in the UK.
We see the country express its willingness to open talks on the subject in that it was to introduce the Legalization of Cannabis (Medicinal Purposes) Bill 2017-19. This bill was to try and promulgate a law allowing for the production and possession of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
This was approved and the country is home to one of the most profit generation pharmaceutical companies, GW Pharma, which incorporates CBD into their drugs.
Apart from this, many Latin American countries such as Peru and Uruguay decided to legalize cannabis. Alongside these countries are the Netherlands and South Africa.
Ease of Access
As is clear from the above, an increasing amount of countries around the world have begun to advocate the use of Cannabis for medicinal purposes, as well as recreationally. It is a long way from having considered this substance harmful and making laws preventing its use.
While this is not the case anymore, there are strict regulations to keep the drug from being misused, such as putting a cap on the amount a person can have in their possession; this is what is referred to in Illinois’ Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act of 2019. Furthermore, regulations also include having cards made to let the dispensaries know you qualify for medical cannabis.
However, for patients seeking medical marijuana, it has now become incredibly accessible, especially for those who reside in the state of Florida; it represents about 14% of the cannabis market in America.
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