For the last several decades in particular, cannabis has been a controversial substance around the globe. While cannabis and its byproducts are known to have several benefits for the human body, there are still limits on legal consumption and use of these products. Because of this, it’s important to understand any health and legal risks as well as how to control unregulated production, purchase, and consumption of the popular cannabis strain known as marijuana.
Marijuana and Its Illegal Purchase
Marijuana, also referred to as pot, weed, grass, or herb, is a strain of cannabis and an illegal psychoactive drug used mostly for recreational or medicinal purposes. While there are several ways to get marijuana from various sources, it’s prohibited for non-medical users to obtain marijuana.
If you want to purchase legal products, you should check with your local government agencies to determine if they have any rules and regulations on selling these substances to consumers. Local governments will require the seller to pay a fine or face criminal prosecution.
Therefore, you must consult cannabis laws in your state or country if you’re planning to purchase marijuana, as well as be aware of the current stand of the nation regarding marijuana legalization.
Current Stand on Marijuana Legalization
The legalization of marijuana in the United States is a hot topic of debate. Marijuana has long been categorized as an illegal Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. There is no current federal legislation on the table that would legalize the drug nationwide or to move it to a different classification, so it has been left to state legislatures to decide how to proceed. Many states still prohibit any use of the drug, others have legalized it for medicinal purposes only, and others have legalized the purchase and use for recreation as well.
The only way that marijuana could be legalized nationally is if Congress were to change federal laws and make it a legitimate form of medicine. Right now, there are no plans in place to do so. Instead, the U.S. government’s top priority is stopping people from buying or using marijuana illegally, whatever the method of sale.
Currently, there are only two legal methods to legally purchase marijuana, either through a licensed dealer or through a grower or retailer. Those who choose to buy through a dealer have to pay a high price in taxes and licensing fees, such as those who use marijuana for health. Meanwhile, the unregulated black market in marijuana, which is also growing at a record rate, allows for marijuana users to buy marijuana in small amounts for resale without having to pay any tax whatsoever.
Why Should Marijuana Be Legalized?
You may be wondering why there’s such a powerful movement to legalize marijuana. It’s best to start with where the supporters are coming from. Here are top reasons why marijuana should be given more chance towards legalization with regulated safety:
- Promote consumer safety and awareness
- Formally create jobs and economic opportunities
- Lessen harm inflicted by marijuana criminalization, particularly violence to young people, poor and working-class people, and people of color
- Save money from expensive court costs
- Increase accessibility of effective pain management
Whether you’re looking at the social benefits or the medical benefits, there are several compelling reasons why there has been a push over recent years to legalize this substance.
While marijuana use has been legalized in a number of states in the United States, it still remains a complex matter and is highly dependent upon the nature of the laws that govern the plant, its cultivation, and use. Although some of the more liberal states have seen marijuana decriminalized or legalized for personal consumption, others still don’t allow the possession and use of marijuana.
For a long time, marijuana was treated exclusively as a harmful substance and became a method by which many people in the United States, the vast majority of whom were working class people of color, were severely punished and kept in the prison-industrial complex. However, recent dialogue has highlighted not only the medical benefits of marijuana, which has been known by the medical industry for many years — as demonstrated by the dispensation of medical marijuana in many states — but also the benefits legalization would have socially and economically. People would both be kept out of prison for only the simple crime of partaking in a popular drug, and there would be a new, booming economic opportunity for enterprising entrepreneurs. Depending on the future of the American federal government, there is a good chance we will continue to see significant changes on the status of marijuana moving forward.
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