Medical Cannabis Waves of Legalization

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In recent times, cannabis has emerged as one of the most frequently used ingestible natural compounds in the United States. Its effect on human health can vary from positive to negative, and as such it has divided expert opinion on whether it should be legalized or not. Its positive features benefit people with disabilities and diverse illnesses which range from managing pain to relieving anxiety. Despite its potential health advantages, the abuse of cannabis can cause severe harm to the overall health of the person using it. The most well-known side effects of improper use of cannabis include impaired temporary memory and cognitive deficiency, etc.

Marijuana usage has been curtailed by national laws ever since the Marijuana Tax Act surfaced in the late 1930s. The planting, possession, usage, and selling of the product were all controlled by several laws. These laws included; the Controlled Substance Act (1970), Narcotics Control Act (1956), Boggs Act (1952), and Anti-Drug Abuse Act (1986). However, a crusade to legalize cannabis kicked off in the late 1960s. Its objective was to propose the enactment of laws that would help regulate the cannabis Industry. This crusade yielded encouraging results as 11 states in this country instigated policies that ensured the punishment of possessors of cannabis, irrespective of the measure. Visit to learn more about this.

However, action to legalize cannabis did not begin until 1993 and the Medical Marijuana Laws were initially approved by California in 1996. A flurry of other states followed suit by enacting laws that allowed its use for entertaining and therapeutic purposes. The liberty proposed by these laws had been touted to encourage the possession and use of cannabis. There was speculation that people’s attitudes towards cannabis altered due to these laws


Here are the 4 concepts of cannabis heterogeneous policies:

  • Prohibition: This policy allows law enforcement agencies to treat the cultivation, supply, sale, or possession of cannabis as a crime. The activity or volume of the cannabis involved might determine the degree of the crime; hence, the punishment that will be served. While compliance with this policy remains at the discretion of the law enforcement authorities in each state, the truth remains that cannabis remains illegal in some states.
  • Decriminalization: This concept advocates the reduction of punishment for cannabis-related crimes. This is referred to as the 1972 Shaffer Commission. However, this policy doesn’t disregard the illegal status of cannabis.
  • Medical Marijuana Laws: These medical laws helped exempt the medical application of cannabis from being considered as an illegal act. Because of these laws, states in the US have had access to means of controlled avenues to increase the accessibility of marijuana for medical purposes since the 1970s.
  • Legalization: The consequences associated with the possession, circulation, and application of marijuana for entertaining or therapeutic purposes are eliminated because of this concept. Washington and Colorado are among the states in the US that spearheaded the legal control of marijuana through votes. The significance of the decision to legalize marijuana cannot yet be determined. However, if any, it will largely depend on its usage and state laws as well as the perspective of the federal government.

In advocating for newer policies for the legalizing of cannabis, proposing movements will need to consider its heterogeneity.

As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.