Congratulations to America! While half the country celebrates and the other half laments the presidential election result, as a nation we showed tremendous common sense on the issue of cannabis, both medical and discretionary. The pendulum is swinging toward freedom!
Four states voted on whether to legalize medical cannabis; or to make it available to more patients, with wider variety of health conditions. And every single measure passed.
Florida had voted on Amendment 2 in in 2014 and just missed hitting the required 60 percent approval. This time, however, funds donated by casino magnate and legalization opponent Sheldon Adelson weren’t enough to combat the effort led by personal injury attorney John Morgan. (Morgan is also chairman of United for Care, an organization dedicated to the cause of legal reform.) In fact, interestingly enough, the more commercials the anti-cannabis campaign ran, the more support the amendment gained.
The “grass” roots campaign seemed to mobilize every time an alcohol company, or a pharmaceutical company like Insys (maker of the opioid Fentanyl), or a law enforcement agency expressed concerns over legalizing medical or recreational cannabis. It’s almost as if the public has finally been able to peek through the wool and see the lies and false propaganda they’ve been fed.
The other states that approved medical cannabis at the ballot box are Montana, North Dakota, and Arkansas. Montana and North Dakota aren’t surprising, with their culture and spirit of rugged individualism and independence. Arkansas, practically the buckle of the Bible belt, is a jewel in the crown of the cannabis freedom movement. There is a sense of inevitability that all states will eventually embrace medical cannabis for humanitarian reasons.
Election Day also saw four states legalize recreational cannabis, meaning the herb will be regulated but available for those over 21 years of age to consume at their discretion. California’s long-awaited yes vote made the whole west coast of the US cannabis-friendly. Massachusetts, Nevada, and Maine also voted in favor of common sense and free adult choice.
Here’s an amazing fact: One in every five Americans now lives in a state that allows adults to choose cannabis as a safer alternative to alcohol or tobacco, for example, if they wish. We are making a massive public health difference.
So, all eyes are on the new administration. The new attorney general is, unfortunately, among the staunchest cannaphobes in existence, even mocking the now widely accepted fact that the herb is no more dangerous than alcohol. (In fact, it has never killed a single person in all of recorded history, while alcohol kills millions annually.) He needs a quick education from his new boss, who is anti-alcohol, pro-business, pro-medical, and pro-states’ rights with regard to adult free choice.
Under current protocol, the DEA and the FBI have been directed to enforce federal law where it does not conflict with state cannabis laws. But there have been instances of legitimate business assets being seized, in some cases ruining the livelihoods of entrepreneurs who believed they were following the rules. There are also major issues with capital, banking, and cash-flow management. These issues arise because banking is done under federal law, but the business is technically legal only at the state level.
The American people have, time and again, voted overwhelmingly in favor of cannabis freedom. It’s time for our government to catch up. Public policy, banking regulations, federal law, and law enforcement agencies need to be revised and refocused to allow business owners, employees, and customers a chance to flourish under the laws that have been enacted.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amber Boone considers writing the cornerstone of communication. She interviews MMA (mixed martial arts) athletes for CombatPress.com and opines on MMA at FightItOut.com. She’s passionate about helping folks tell their stories and making the world a better place, which includes working to win the freedom of Americans to partake of the herb. When not writing or playing beach volleyball, she can be found at her day job—for now. Follow Amber on Twitter @thruthetrees11.