Medical Marijuana Legalization Overview and Issues
The benefits of medical marijuana are undoubted and for many people suffering from serious medical conditions, it’s the only option for effective symptom management. The use of medicinal marijuana hasn’t been legalized in the entire country, however.
Where is marijuana legal, what are the biggest challenges standing in the way of legalization and what kinds of benefits will be the process bring?
Where is Medical Marijuana Legal?
According to March 2015 information, medical marijuana is currently legalized in 23 states. The use of the medicinal plant was first legalized in California back in 1996.
The other states where the use of the medicinal plants is currently legal include Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington DC, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
Why hasn’t Marijuana been Legalized Everywhere?
Several issues stand in the way of a nation-wide marijuana legalization.
A chaotic and deeply-rooted gray market is one of the important obstacles that stand in the way of full legalization. Some states also lack a strong initiative in favor of legalizing medicinal cannabis. Coordinated efforts and the creation of a single proposition will be needed to move things forward.
Lawmakers face challenges in terms of regulating this niche. How will medicinal use be defined? What will make it different from recreational use of marijuana? These questions still have to be answered by lawmakers in various parts of the country.
Finally, social outlook and the predisposition of the general population have to be taken in consideration by law makers. Many parts of the country remain highly conservative, which will make the legalization of marijuana rather unpopular. – medical marijuana OC collective
Regardless of the fact that these obstacles still stand in the way of effective legalization, the process can produce a vast range of benefits. The legalization of marijuana-based treatments can contribute to both local and regional development in numerous ways.
The Benefits of Orange County Medical Cannabis Legalization
The benefits of legalizing medicinal marijuana are obvious.
For a start, legalization will almost entirely root out the grey sector. There are numerous dispensaries that currently operate illegally. These aren’t subjected to any regulations and the quality of the cannabis that they offer is questionable. Rooting out the grey sector will benefit both the people in need of medical marijuana and the state.
Upon legalization, entities distributing and selling marijuana for medicinal purposes will be obliged to pay taxes. This isn’t the case right now in places where the treatment using cannabis isn’t legalized.
The final and probably the most important factor to mention is the proven beneficial effect of marijuana treatment for many medical conditions. Clinical studies have proven just how effective cannabis treatment can be for patients suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, depression, HIV, inflammatory pain and a vast range of autoimmune diseases.
Medicinal use of marijuana has gone a long way but there is still much to be done. Legislative changes and a solid regulatory framework will be required for universal introduction of such alternative treatment methods. Though numerous states have already made it possible for patients to benefit from this treatment opportunity, many others will have to wait in order to get legal dispensaries in their city or state.