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Why is legalizing recreational marijuana so hard to do in the US?

Cannabis, marijuana, weed, call it what you want, the plant has been the biggest “public enemy”, as president Richard Nixon once said, for over 45 years.

Many people might remember the day when president Richard Nixon pushed the war on drugs into motion with his famous words regarding drug abuse problem raging through America.

However, Nixon didn’t single out marijuana in his legendary statement to the Congress regarding Drug Abuse Prevention and Control.

Who knows, by the time 50 years have passed since the announcement of the war on drugs, we might even have recreational marijuana legalized across the whole United States…

War on drugs made me do it

The use recreational marijuana, even while illegal, has always been huge in the United States, and with legalization developing faster in several states we can see why the people of United States never quit fighting for their right to freely consume recreational marijuana.

Nobody likes buying weed from shady dealers in dark alleys, but that’s not really how the black market works. Well, in a sense it does, but not in the ways you might think…

Firstly, consumers like knowing what they are buying. If your dealer isn’t consistent then he could be selling you stuff he’s not so sure about. Maybe even stuff he wouldn’t smoke himself.

The war on drugs brought heavy punishment and long jail/prison sentences to those found selling marijuana on the black market, which made it less desirable as a long-term career choice.

But it didn’t eradicate it.

No, the war on drugs just made things worse for the people involved in the world of recreational marijuana.

It made it so that many people can’t get jobs due to the punishment it brought upon those charged with possession or worse. It simply put the whole US in 30 years long freeze regarding drug policies.

Governments can’t find middle ground

Marijuana is a Schedule 1 narcotic on the federal level. It has been on that list for a very long time and it seems it will be for a little bit longer.

So, as far as the federal government is concerned marijuana is something that will get you arrested if you are found in possession, selling it, storing it, etc. and there’s nothing you can do about it.

If the federal police (FBI) accuses you of some weed crimes, you might go to a federal prison.

But, what about states with decriminalized laws, or even states with legalized recreational marijuana such as California, Nevada, Oregon and others?

Well, that’s where it gets tricky. If the state government bodies are concerned about your case, you have little to nothing to worry about.

This miscommunication and inability to find middle ground is only one of the reason why there is not a significant federal-level cannabis movement in the Congress.

However, it is not the only one.

Smaller countries have an easier time regulating things such as sales, distribution, quality testing and similar simply due to the fact that their markets are smaller than the one in the US.

There isn’t so much corporate and political involvement to drag down the process, which gives small countries a chance to get to the market before the US.

Weak lobby

There is not a significant lobby anywhere in the United States pushing for federal legalization.

In fact, many big lobbies are working against it, such as the Big Pharma, Big Tobacco and the alcohol lobby of course.

This is enough proof to see that many such companies don’t yet stand to profit from legalization.

Industrial hemp was once a huge deal in the 19th century America, but since the plant was outlawed it has lost its place in the US and thus its lobby, even though there is still irrefutable evidence of its application in many industries.

The legislators in the US simply won’t bring a law which legalizes recreational marijuana until all those involved can clearly see that they are to standing to profit from it.

Terrible legislation

Controlled Substances Act.

Is there anything else that needs to be said? This piece of legislation has pushed the country into an almost 50-year-long struggle against one plant and a few extremely dangerous synthetic drugs.

In fact, let’s take a look at the list of Schedule 1 drugs (some of them, not all listed):

  • Heroin (diacetylmorphine)
  • LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide)
  • Marijuana (cannabis, THC)
  • Mescaline (Peyote)
  • MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or “ecstasy”)
  • GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid)
  • Psilocybin
  • Bath Salts

Schedule 1 drugs are defined by having a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use and the fact there is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.

Some drugs that are listed as Schedule 2 are cocaine, opium, fentanyl, morphine, codeine, and more. They are different from Schedule 1 drugs since they have an accepted medical use.

Fancy that…

-Hey Doc, can I get something for my knees? I’ve had 2 ACL surgeries they are killing me…

-Sure have some of this codeine and enjoy developing a pill addiction.

-Uhmm… Can I get some CBD oil maybe? It’s not that serious they are just aching.

-Nope, take the damn opioids and get lost kid, weed isn’t legal… Damn hippies!

Federal legislation won’t allow doctors to prescribe you with cannabis-based medicine, but you are welcome to find your way to private doctors in states with legal medical marijuana.

In states with legal medical cannabis, you can easily get your pill treatment replaced with one based on different cannabis oils and such.

Run to the hills…

…of the Pacific coast United States. All the states on the Pacific coast (and some a bit further like Nevada) have legalized both medical and recreational marijuana.

They seem to be doing fine. In fact, states that legalized recreational marijuana are making money from it and putting it to good work, such as Colorado.

But this should be only a solution in last resort cases? Or not even then?

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