The fans and customers of Glassheads Wholesale
have known for a long time what the general American public is just beginning to understand — that marijuana, whether used medically or recreationally, is not an overly dangerous substance when used by responsible adults and medical care providers. In fact, far from simply not being bad, it is often incredibly helpful. Marijuana has been used to ease pain in patients with multiple sclerosis, help with the side-effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients, and one study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2012 shows that it can even help reverse the carcinogenic effects of tobacco use — a substance that is known to be far more dangerous than marijuana but yet has never been subject to the kind of prohibition that pot has.
And now, at last, marijuana is becoming legally available in more states than ever. The November 2016 election was a landmark year for legalized pot advocates. Nearly half of the United States had already, previous to this election, legalized some form of pot use, but it has been very tightly controlled. This is the first year that adult residents over the age of 21 in several states can freely access the drug.
So which states said “yes” to recreational pot this year? California — which, notably, was the first state to legalize medical marijuana 20 years ago — Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts all voted for legalized sale, use, and consumption of recreational marijuana by adults. These four states join Colorado and Washington state, both of which legalized recreational pot in 2012, and Oregon and Alaska, which voted in favor of the legalization of recreational pot in 2014.
Other marijuana-related progress was also made on Election Day 2016. Florida, Arkansas, and North Dakota residents voted to legalize the use of medical marijuana. Montana residents lifted provider restrictions on an existing medical marijuana laws, making the drug far more available by prescription to those who need it.
It should be noted that there are some minor regulations in place to help govern the use of marijuana, even in the states where it is completely legalized. As already noted, marijuana is only available to adults over the age of 21 — similar to alcohol and tobacco — as pot use in the still-developing brains of teens has shown to have some detrimental and long-term side effects. Other regulations include such measures as California’s $100 for smoking recreational pot in public, and driving under the drug’s influence is illegal. Over in Nevada, residents can legally possess up to a single ounce of the drug, but only medical marijuana dispensaries can be licensed for its recreational sale.
While some may find these developments concerning, marijuana is becoming as ubiquitous and legal as tobacco and alcohol — two substances which have repeatedly been shown to be far more dangerous and detrimental to users’ health, but which have not endured the prohibition that marijuana has been forced to. And if this shocks some, it is just as thrilling to others to see the expansion and acceptance of this enjoyable and medically valuable drug.