Legalization: Lighting The Path Forward

We love talking about CBD and cannabis, duh, its our business. But more than that we have long recognized the value of the plant on many levels. We have a deep respect for its 3000+ year history among the human species. More importantly we know that the plant can play a major role in our continued development of a sustainable and healthy existence. So in honor of the recently passed 420 we are going to speak, yet again about legalization.

Planet Weed

As many areas of the world are moving towards legalization there are those who are still resisting the process. In the US states continue to topple like dominoes. 18 states have opted for full legalization of recreational cannabis with another 13 states decriminalizing its use. Since decriminalization is a precursor for legalization the writing is on the wall.

The majority of these states have benefited ENORMOUSLY from legalization. Colorado generated 428 million USD in tax revenue for 2021. New Mexico did more than 5.2 million dollars in sales in its first weekend which having spent a few years in the 505 comes as no surprise. Illinois hit nearly 1.4 billion dollars in sales in 2021. The short of it is that it is crazy how much money the industry generates for any given state not only in terms of taxes and revenue. There have been benefits in terms of increased employment and a measurable decrease in opioid use. All good.

As Europe starts to view legalization as a viable path Germany, Switzerland just launched a trial legalization program as did the Netherlands, Spain and Italy are also showing up the radar. The Germans loved the simplicity and efficiency of the “Colorado Model” so much that they have co-opted it in order to speed up their full implementation timeline. They should be fully operational by December of this year.

NIMBY And Other Pitfalls

So its all good right? Jobs, income, tax revenue, amazing stuff!! Right??? Yes well, sort of. The problem is that much of the mainstream popular perception of marijuana is still very much tied to the perception that it is a dangerous drug that wreaks havoc on its users and eventually turns them into criminals and junkies, we wrote more about that here.

Those who know better are generally supportive of the plan for legalization but even then there can be a bit of a NIMBY (not in my backyard) attitude about it. Especially for parents who are afraid their children might be drawn more easily into drug culture, business owners that think having a dispensary in their area will be bad for business because of the drugs and the addiction. Homeowners are also worried about their property value dropping for the same reasons. And these are the people who theoretically know better.

People who are not knowledgeable about the plant tend towards a more reactionary and decidedly darker view of the situation. They imagine children dropping out of school and roaming the streets in marijuana deranged packs, towns being hollowed out by the addiction and the drugs and the violence.

And then there is big pharma and big alcohol who simply do not like competition, but we are not going to go there today because that path is too dark and twisted for such a lovely Friday.

Lighting Up The Path Forward

What is the solution then? How do we overcome these obstacles to ensure that we can all reap the benefits of legalization? Fortunately the answer is pretty simple; education. Its weird how many of our current problems could be solved through exercising our basic critical thinking skills. Let the light of reason be our guide. If people actually had the correct information about legalization the whole process would be much easier. All of the information is out there if people “do the research”. And by research we mean the actual scientific and statistical research, and not falling into some YouTube wormhole that leaves ill-informed and more confused about the issue than when you started.

So in the spirit of critical thinking and the light of reason, two of the basic founding principles of the United States of America by the way, we are going to address all of the major objections to cannabis legalization and show why they are absurd. But we will leave that for next weeks blog. Now get out there and enjoy the weekend and don’t forget to stop by the shop in case you need any Cali Craft goodness this weekend.