The road to cannabis reform has been long, tedious and fraught with hurdles. After decades of prohibition, anti-marijuana propaganda and harsh policing, reforming cannabis laws and changing the public’s perception towards cannabis was bound to be a challenge.
While reform advocates argued that legalizing cannabis would offer a much-needed reprieve to the minority communities that had suffered the most from the failed war on drugs in addition to creating new jobs and filling state coffers with tax revenue, opponents said that it would inevitably lead to increased drug use, especially among the youth, and promote criminal activity.
However, studies have revealed that there has been minimal or no increase in teen cannabis use in states with legal markets. Furthermore, a top federal officer who previously believed that marijuana use among adolescents would increase after the passage of cannabis legalization bills has conceded that things have played out differently. Speaking at the Psychoactive Podcast hosted by Drug Policy Alliance Founder Ethan Nadelmann, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (“NIDA”) director Nora Volkov discussed a wide variety of drug policy issues. She said that the country’s booming state-legal cannabis industry has not led to a rise in marijuana use among the youth.
Volkov also talked about how the country needs to stop looking at drug abuse and addiction as criminal activity deserving of punitive action and instead approach it as a public health matter, an issue she has covered extensively before. Additionally, she and Nadelmann discussed the medical potential of a variety of psychedelics that federal law has long classified as dangerous.
The effects of cannabis legislation have varied greatly on a state-by-state basis, she says, with some states having better outcomes and others seeing the adverse effects of cannabis use. As such, she noted, it is crucial for federal officials and policymakers to understand which cannabis policies promote the best outcomes while protecting the populace from the negative effects.
Despite more than 30 states passing at least one form of cannabis legislation, federal law, which classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 controlled substance with no medical application, has held the nascent cannabis sector back. Federal law has created major research barriers, forcing scientists interested in studying cannabis to go through “extremely cumbersome” processes to obtain cannabis, she says. Additionally, scientists are only allowed to use the low-quality cannabis grown at a facility at the University of Mississippi, but Volkov says she has been heartened by moves to increase the number of sanctioned cannabis providers by the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”).
The admission that cannabis legalization doesn’t increase teen marijuana use puts a dent in the collection of misconceptions surrounding marijuana, and as those myths and misconceptions are debunked, cannabis sector players such as American Cannabis Partners could enjoy a more favorable working environment, especially when federal legalization is eventually implemented.
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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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