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Why legalize?

Why legalize?

Why do we care about marijuana legalization?

Many of us are ready to see marijuana legalized for recreational use – especially after hearing about Colorado’s success and drooling over innovations like cannabis coffee (wake and bake!). While this has been an extremely active time for marijuana legislation, it’s been mostly medically-inclined. It might be cliché, but it’s important to remember that Rome really wasn’t built in a day.

Last week, the United States House of Representatives voted to let the states decide their own medical marijuana laws, prohibiting the feds from interfering with state legislation. The bill hasn’t hit the Senate yet, so don’t hold your breath (unless you’re trying to get higher) – but if a Republican-dominated house can vote it through, it’s looking good.

So far, twenty-two states and Washington, D.C. have legalized cannabis for medical uses. We’ve seen a lot of action in the past month, even:

  • Last week, Minnesota became the 22nd state to legalize it for medical purposes, and has some of the strictest laws the states have seen.
  • In South Carolina, Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill Tuesday to allow doctors to prescribe a non-psychoactive oil form of cannabis to children with severe epilepsy.
  • In Florida, similar to South Carolina, a bill passed in May to allow doctors to prescribe a non-psychoactive form of cannabis to patients with severe epilepsy.
  • And, as we discussed, the New York State Senate will vote on a proposal to approve medical marijuana as soon as this month.

It’s easy for people with no medical need to whine about how marijuana is safer than alcohol, not a lethal drug, could kick start the economy, etc. – we’re as guilty of complaining as anyone. But right now, our voices are needed in support of legalization for patients suffering from a number of chronic illnesses, living in constant pain. And for minorities being targeted and jailed for simple possession. And for a failing American drug war that is, as is so well-put by High Times, “diverting the time of police, attorneys, judges, and corrections officials away from violent crime, the sexual abuse of children, and terrorism.” We need to first raise our voices for those who can’t do it themselves.

And that’s why we want to legalize.


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