What do Americans think about Marijuana?

When did Marijuana become federally illegal in the US?

The view that most Americans have on marijuana is relatively positive in our current political environment. As of 2017, there are at least 29 states that legalized marijuana for medical use. It would not surprise us that in the remaining, not so cannabis-friendly states there are citizens that support some form of legalization for weed but the opposition has a much stronger hold in the state’s politics. Cannabis is a Schedule 1 illegal substance under federal law and has been pretty much since the Marijuana Tax Act that was enacted in 1937. With more than half of the United States that have voted for marijuana legalization, when will the federal government change their laws to reflect what citizens have democratically voted for? It is a complete legislative disconnect to make cannabis legal on a state level but keep federal laws that still do not reflect the voice of the people. There are opposing political forces that do not want to see weed legal.

What is in cannabis that makes you feel high?

THC is one of 60 active compounds found in marijuana and is actually legal for pharmaceutical companies to make synthetic THC. The cannabis plant produces a psychoactive cannabinoid compound called THC, which is the most famous cannabinoid and responsible for making the cannabis user feel high. It is technically the reason of why marijuana falls under a controlled substance because of the THC’s psychoactive effects. THC along with other cannabinoids found in cannabis can tremendously help with hundreds of different medical conditions and ailments.

What is the legal status of CBD oil in the United States?

The second most powerful cannabinoid is Cannabidiol, or CBD. CBD does not contain THC or have any psychoactive properties but the DEA still has a problem with CBD. The laws regarding CBD are also a little confusing because hemp cultivation was made legal by Obama through the Agricultural Act of 2014 and CBD can be extracted out of hemp. CBD can not be imported and it can not be mailed due to the it’s federal illegal status. This is interesting as this country faces new state legislation that now allows for both recreational or medical marijuana as is the case with California winning Prop 64 which makes cannabis legal for recreational sales.

What does the Trump administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions think about marijuana?

We will see what happens with the new Trump administration that started in 2018. Many folks are curious if a federal crackdown on cannabis will happen now that Trump appointed Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Attorney General Sessions is not a big fan of marijuana even for any kind of medical use. His exact words are “good people don’t smoke marijuana”. This is a tough pill to swallow for a cannabis enthusiast and brings a lot of skepticism to the future of federal legality of weed. It also makes many people in the cannabis industry wonder about the future of law enforcement of marijuana in America.

Are the majority of Americans are in favor of the legalization of cannabis?

Jeff Sessions is very much at odds with his views on marijuana with most Americans that seem to have no issue with legal weed and oppose a crackdown on cannabis legalized at a state level. A poll taken in April 2017 by CBS shows that the majority of Americans are in favor the legalization of cannabis. According to this poll, a couple of statistics reflects a change in the attitude for marijuana legalization is at an all time high. 61% of Americans are in favor of making marijuana legal. 71% of Americans oppose a federal crackdown on cannabis which should be written in a memo to Jeff Sessions next time he eyeballs recreational or medical marijuana dispensaries to sic the DEA on.

Is Marijuana more dangerous than alcohol?

If we look at marijuana recreational use and compare it to alcohol or tobacco, it is easy to infer that marijuana is the least dangerous on a social level out of the three vices. Marijuana does not create the amount of deaths that alcohol or tobacco use have claimed. A study published in a journal called Scientific Reports has reported that alcohol is “about 100 times more dangerous than using marijuana, the scientists concluded in the study”. There has never been a reported case in the world of a fatal overdose from cannabis.

Is it easy for researchers to obtain cannabis for research?

With respect to medical cannabis, pharmaceutical companies are allowed to make synthetic marijuana pills containing THC that can be prescribed by a doctor. This is pretty ironic because it is difficult for researchers to even obtain marijuana per the DEA because weed is a schedule 1 drug which equates to marijuana serving no medical purpose. Cannabis was widely available without a prescription and could be found in many over-the-counter treatments before the 1937 Marijuana Tax act. Cannabis has also been used as an anesthetic in medicine since 200 AD by Chinese surgeon, Hua Tuo. Marijuana should be looked at as a legitimate treatment for pain and can be a less fatal approach than relying on opiates.

How big can the cannabis industry get in the future?

If cannabis was legal and taxed, this would represent a tax revenue windfall for both the federal level and state level. We shall see what the tax revenue from the recreational marijuana market will bring for California. According to Forbes magazine, the cannabis industry reached$6.8 million in 2016. The growth that the marijuana industry is experiencing seems to be around 25% growth rate which is amazing compared to other industries.  New Frontier Data, a cannabis market research company estimates the marijuana market could reach close to $25 billion by 2025. The federal government would be able to cash in on a huge, emerging weed market via tax revenue. This is a way better than an alternative of wasting money on law enforcement for the War on Drugs on marijuana that most people feel should be legal. Marijuana legalization would eliminate a lot of motivation that cartels would have to be in the illegal marijuana trade. With the legalization of cannabis, people could visit a marijuana dispensary as opposed to buying from a street dealer. State and local governments are playing a huge role in defining standards and processes for the recreational and medical marijuana markets.

Why is America not the leader in medical marijuana research?

The amount of research that would take place if marijuana was changed from a Schedule 1 drug could really change the role cannabis can have in the medical industry. We are not the leader in medical cannabis research as Israel wears that title. We are one of the unhealthiest nations in the world. Maybe prescribing medical marijuana instead of potentially deadly prescription medications could really change the amount of money spent on healthcare and overdoes rates. A legal cannabis industry is creating a bunch of new jobs already and weed being legal on a federal level would have a positive impact on the American job market and the economy. The government should also be happy because the increase in tax revenue would be coupled with the saved tax revenue on unnecessary law enforcement.

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