Monday, November 16, 2015

Is marijuana becoming legal?

The debate as to whether marijuana should be legalized or not is an old one. While some people feel that this drug is quite “mild” and no different than drinking a beer, others feel that it is a “gateway” drug that eventually leads to the abuse of much more dangerous substances such as strong opiates or heroin. Regardless of your opinion of marijuana use over time the laws have changed dramatically and some states are now treating it as little more than a minor traffic offense.

The use of marijuana is nothing new and dates back much further than most people realize. In California the first law to ban the use of marijuana was passed on August 10th, 1913 and was added to the state Poison Act and referred to as “locoweed”.  In the 1960’s and 70’s the drug became extremely popular and its use was seen by some as an “epidemic”. After the famous Woodstock concert in 1969, congress passed the Controlled Substances Act classifying marijuana as a drug with a "high potential for abuse" and "no currently accepted medical use."

Since that time however, the attitude towards marijuana has changed dramatically. While it still remains illegal to some degree in most states it is no longer considered to be as dangerous as it once was. Below is a list of 20 states that have decriminalized marijuana to some extent. What do you think about this? Is marijuana a dangerous drug that should be treated as such or is it little different than having a few martinis during a business lunch?

States that Allow the Adult Use and Cultivation of Marijuana
Delaware  (Decriminalization will take effect on December 1st of this year)
Missouri (Decriminalization will take effect on January 1 of 2017)

States that Classify Possession of Marijuana as a Misdemeanor with no Possibility of Time Served

States that Have Decriminalized Marijuana to Some Degree with the Possibility of No Arrest, Criminal Record or Time Served for Possession of a Limited Amount of Marijuana Not Intended for Resale (Click on the state name for more detailed information regarding legislation in that particular state)

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