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Legalizing adult-use marijuana popular in many states

January 10, 2022 | Cannabis Law Featured

By David Ross

Now that we’re slowly stretching our arms in 2022, it’s safe to say that the road to adult-use marijuana around the country is becoming more and more of a reality.  It’s actually pretty nuts when you think about it.  It goes to show that there are so many things we just don’t know.  Growing up I remember hearing about the movie, Reefer Madness, which came out in 1936 and was created to deter people from smoking marijuana.  In that film, two of the main characters smoke pot and it leads to a life of pure ridiculous:  murder, suicide, rape, so much horrible shit.  But this is how we perceived the drug during those times.  And to look at us now, it’s almost head-scratchy.  Makes you wonder:  can humans make valued judgements on anything?

And now the year is 2022 and states have realized that oh wait, so many of our population smoke marijuana, it’s certainly not inspiring violence like alcohol does and there’s money to be had.  In 2021, lawmakers in Connecticut, New Mexico, New York and Virginia legalized recreational marijuana markets.  You read it right:  the Commonwealth.  Keep in mind, the Commonwealth will be led by Republican Glenn Youngkin, who beat out former VA governor Terry McAuliffe and he’s likely going to do something shady with that rollout (for instance, remove language about tax sales going toward a social equity fund).  BUT still, that’s a progressive move for the state of Virginia.  Meanwhile, the state of Maryland lags along but mainly because they’re bickering over the details.  They are expected to present an adult-use initiative to voters soon.  Medical marijuana is craved in Mississippi.  Voters approved it but it was shot down by their Supreme Court.  For sure, it’ll be back around.  If there’s anybody who needs to smoke weed it’s the state of Mississippi.  Here are the states where recreational marijuana are in the works:  Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island.  A little slow to the race but we clap along are Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina.  I want to say more foursome but I’m confining myself to a word limit.  But we’re on the move.  

One thing that will be interesting to see is the most complicated piece:  what to do about all of those who have been incarcerated for marijuana offenses?  If you were a young pot dealer, a positive, well-intentioned individual or kid, who just liked the plant and his customers, and found their life ruined because of the draconian laws that surround marijuana, should they be eligible to own a dispensary before someone else?  And have a chance to legally do what they were good at.  This is going to be difficult.  There’s already push-back.  This is where you’ll see elements of deep, deep racism and classism.  But it’s about time we had the conversation.